© 2021 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Crime & Justice

4 CMS Schools On Modified Lockdown After Recent Shootings In Charlotte

Earnest Winston
Earnest Winston speaks at a news conference Thursday to address four high schools on modified lockdown.

Four Charlotte-Mecklenburg high schools had extra police officers around campus Thursday. That’s after Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they believe a series of shootings including one that killed a 3-year-old this week had some relation to Hopewell, North Mecklenburg and Chambers high schools.

CMS said there’s an enhanced police presence at these schools, and Huntersville police said they have had extra officers at North Mecklenburg and Hopewell all week. CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston held a press conference Thursday and said they’re working with police and community groups like the NAACP.

“We know that local law enforcement have connected some of the recent gun violence to CMS students," Winston said. "We are working collaboratively with local law enforcement and others in the community to prevent further violence.”

Hopewell, North Meck, West Mecklenburg and Chambers are on what’s called a modified lockdown. According to a CMS website, a modified lockdown is initiated when there may be a danger outside of the school building or off campus. Classroom instruction continues as normal, but outside doors remain locked.

The heightened security comes after CMPD’s news conference Wednesday, where they said they believed the suspects of the shooting were linked to these schools. Superintendent Winston addressed earlier Thursday that rumors were flying around social media about violence at school.  

Winston said there have been a lot of rumors circulating on social media about threats and that the district is aware of those, but has no evidence that any of them are credible. And he urged parents to be vigilant when talking with their kids about what they’re hearing from their friends and seeing online.

“We ask that you speak with your children, that’s important. We know there are rumors and threats that are swirling, and it can be frightening," Winston said. "I’m a parent myself, I get it. Every situation is different, so please be patient while staff is evaluating every specific situation.”

CMS said some principals confirmed attendance was down Thursday, and some students were leaving those schools early, but they didn’t have any specific numbers.

CMPD said at its own news conference this week that they think several other incidents of gunfire in the city could be related to the shooting that killed 3-year-old Asiah Figueroa and the Sunday evening shooting death of 16-year-old Jaylen Foster.

There are still no arrests. CMS said law enforcement will continue to have an increased presence at the four high schools through Friday and possibly longer if it’s needed. For now, they remain on a modified lockdown.

Winston asked anyone with information to contact the police.

Sign up for our Education Newsletter

Select Your Email Format