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Charlotte Area News

CMS To Keep Extra Security At 5 Schools Through The Week

Extra security will remain in place at five CMS high schools through next week after a Vance High student was killed in a shooting last weekend. Seventeen year-old John Kempson was at a party Saturday night when investigators say a fight broke out. Nineteen-year-old Armani McDonald, a graduate of Phillip O. Berry has been charged with his murder. Another student from West Mecklenburg High Terry Sekyere is charged with assaulting Kempson. A few days later, messages began circulating on Twitter that threatened retaliation. Names of gangs like "Trained To Go" and "Young Billionaire Bosses" popped up in tweets. Police won't say whether Kempson or the suspects were affiliated with those gangs. This week CMS put in place extra security for Vance, West Mecklenburg, West Charlotte, Myers Park and Harding high schools. CMPD Captain Karl Bannerman says that will continue at least through next week. "As these threats come to our attention, we have to treat each one as a legitimate threat to our students, our faculty, and our staff," says Bannerman. "Based upon what we learn in the schools we then increase our security staff at those locations with CMS law enforcement and with additional CMPD officers." CMS and CMPD have deployed as many as eight extra officers at the schools. Bannerman says the schools are safe. Many of the tweets mentioned Myers Park, but CMS Police Chief Bud Cesena says other schools are now cropping up in messages. "There was social media attention at a number of the schools including Hopewell and Rocky River that started today," said Cesena. "So not only did this occur at Myers Park, but it occurred at several schools and it spreads very quickly with tweeting and Facebook and it's something that's very difficult to stop." Cesena says they continue to monitor tweets and deploy officers as needed.