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Butler High Marks School Shooting Anniversary With Kindness, Privacy

Police cars are stationed outside of Butler High School after the October 2018 shooting.

Butler High School students and staff will observe a day of remembrance on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of a fatal shooting at the Matthews school.

Sixteen-year-old Bobby McKeithen was fatally shot outside the school cafeteria on Oct. 29, 2018. A 16-year-old classmate, Jatwan Cuffie, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in McKeithen’s death. Cuffie told police he brought a gun to school after an off-campus fight involving several students.

Butler Principal John Legrand vowed at McKeithen’s funeral to use the tragedy to create positive change. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools says the Butler community has spent the past year healing, supporting each other and modeling respect and kindness.

Nico, the CMS gun-sniffing dog, is rewarded with a toy after finding an unloaded gun in a book bag during a demonstration for news media.
Credit Ann Doss Helms / WFAE

The district has banned news media from the campus Tuesday, saying students and staff need privacy.

In the aftermath of the Butler shooting and other incidents of guns at schools, CMS started random gun searches in high schools and beefed up other security measures. This year CMS bought a dog trained to sniff out guns in students' bags, lockers or cars.

The past year has also seen violence in the community surge. Charlotte has already logged more than 90 homicides in 2019, the highest level since the mid-1990s.