Jacksonville, North Carolina — Just four days into the new school year, before the morning bell rang, a student was killed and two others, including a teacher, were injured in an attack on a North Carolina high school.
A student resource officer responded to reports of a fight between students around 7 a.m. at Northside High School in Jacksonville, NC. The fight, which may have been gang-related, led to a stabbing that killed a student, shocked hundreds of students and parents – and now another student behind bars.
The officer responded in less than 30 seconds and was able to arrest the attacker, also identified as a 16-year-old student.
Despite on-site medical treatment, a student died and a minor and a teacher were injured. Two victims of the incident are being treated at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune.
Melissa Brison, mother of three students at the school, said her children were outside when the fight broke out but were escorted to the cafeteria to await the ensuing lockdown.
She wondered why the school doesn’t have metal detectors.
“Everyone is looking for a gun. Nobody pays attention to the 100 other ways to hurt someone,” Brison said.
The school was closed until 8:45 a.m., when the school began sending students home. A district spokesman said investigators kept some students in school longer to make sure there were witnesses.
Sporting events for the next two days were canceled and students will virtually learn on Friday. The students will return to the classrooms on Tuesday after the holiday weekend.
“Those kids are going to be so stressed out,” Brison said. “Someone they knew won’t be there Monday or Tuesday.”
After the incident, some grieving parents and students paid their respects. Maria Ortega and her son left a bouquet of flowers on the Northside High School sign.
“I want to pay tribute to a little monarch student who has gained his wings and will no longer be with us,” Oretga said in tears. Her son is a senior at the school – one of hundreds lucky enough to be home safely tonight.
Although her son is safe, Oreta cried when she said, “Someone’s son is not coming home.”
Although the suspect is not yet 18, he can be tried as an adult.
“If this is a violent crime, it will be handed over to a higher court to be tried as an adult under the state statute of North Carolina,” said District Attorney Ernie Lee.
He will soon have an answer whether the student will be charged.
“Even though my kids are safe,” Brison said, “I probably know who’s involved.
“It’s not really about me,” she said. “Someone’s kid doesn’t go home.”