Jacksonville, NC — Just four days into the new school year, before the morning bell had even rung, a student was killed and two others, including a teacher, were injured in an attack at North Carolina high school.
A student resource officer responded to reports of a fight between students around 7 am at Northside High School in Jacksonville, NC. The fight, which may have been gang related, led to a stabbing that left a student dead, hundreds of students and parents shaken – 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 medical treatment at the scene, one student died, and a minor and a teacher were injured. Two victims from 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 into the cafeteria to wait out the subsequent lockdown.
She has why the school does not have metal detectors.
“Everyone is looking for a gun. No one pays attention to the 100 other ways to injure someone,” Brison said.
The school was in a lockdown until 8:45 am, when the school began sending students home. A spokesperson for the district said investigators kept some students at school longer to make sure witnesses were available.
Athletic events for the next two days are cancelled, and students will be in virtual learning Friday. Students will return to classrooms Tuesday after the holiday weekend.
“Those kids are gonna be so stressed out,” Brison said. “Someone that they knew won’t be there Monday or Tuesday.”
After the incident, some grieving parents and students shared paid their respects. Maria Ortega and her son dela left a bouquet of flowers on the Northside High School sign.
“I want to pay respects to a little monarch student who gained his wings, won’t be with us anymore,” said Oretga tearfully. Her son dela is a senior at the school – one of hundreds who is fortunate to be home safe tonight.
Although her son is safe, Oreta wept as she said, “Someone’s baby boy isn’t gonna come home.”
Although the suspect is under 18, he could be tried as an adult.
“If this is a violent felony, by North Carolina state statute it will be transferred to a superior court to be tried as an adult,” says District Attorney Ernie Lee.
He will have an answer soon on if the student will be charged.
“Even though my kids are safe,” Brison said, “I likely know who is involved.
“It’s not really about me,” she said. “Someone’s child is not going home.”