H.S. Shooting Victim In Stable Condition; Student Charged With Assault
A 16-year-old Albemarle High School student is in the hospital after being shot twice on Tuesday morning, just before school started.
After shooting the student, the shooter immediately dropped the gun and turned himself in to the principal's office.
Albemarle police Chief William Halliburton says his officers were as prepared as they could be, but still …
"This is the worst call, I think, when you hear that, shots fired at a school," Halliburton says. "That's our worst nightmare."
Halliburton says the shooting took place in the school courtyard about 7:40 a.m.
"Prior to the doors being opened to students to enter the school, a juvenile and 17-year-old male began arguing with each other," he said. "The juvenile pulled a gun out of his waistband and shot the 17-year-old twice. "
The victim is 16-year-old Bernard Miller. Police issued a correction saying he is 16 and not 17. Miller was shot in the hip and lower abdomen. He's in stable condition.
Police say they don't know what prompted the shooting but are investigating to see if it's related to a physical fight the students had a few days ago.
"This wasn't a, 'I'm mad at the world and I'm going to go into the school and commit as many casualties as I can.'" Halliburton says. "This was a personal one-on-one confrontation."
The shooter is charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Halliburton says he doesn't know where the student got the gun.
The name of the shooter has not been released because he is a minor. Office staff activated panic alarms that were installed over the summer. The school went into lockdown and students were evacuated.
The Stanly County Schools Superintendent Terry Griffin says they will review all safety procedures at their schools. But she's proud of how staff responded.
"You're never prepared for this kind of situation," Griffin says. "However I do commend our staff. They acted very quickly."
Griffin says the school will reopen on Wednesday.