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Man Fires Into Car At Elementary School, Prompting Lockdown

Villa Heights Elementary School
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Villa Heights Elementary School

Updated 5:43 p.m.

Villa Heights Elementary School was placed on lockdown Thursday morning after a man fired multiple shots at a mother who was dropping her child off in the school parking lot. No one was injured.

According to police, the incident began around 7:30 a.m. as the woman pulled into the parking lot and saw her ex-boyfriend, Delmond Cunningham, pulling in behind her. She was preparing to drop off her child when, as she later told police, Cunningham stepped out of his vehicle, approached her, and fired multiple rounds at and into her vehicle.

Neither the woman nor her child, who was inside the car at the time, were injured, though a nearby home on Pinckney Avenue was struck by a stray bullet.

The man returned to his car and drove away, as the mother drove in the opposite direction on her way to police headquarters, according to police. Cunningham was not immediately able to be located, and the school was placed on lockdown for the entirety of the school day.

Later in the afternoon, around 1:30 p.m., police placed their own uptown headquarters on lockdown, citing a "potential threat" involving a "wanted, violent suspect."

By 5 p.m., police said they had arrested Cunningham at an apartment on Luther Street following a standoff with a SWAT team and negotiators.

Public records show Cunningham has previously been arrested at least seven times in the last two years. His previous charges have ranged from felony breaking and entering to second degree arson to assault on a female.

Following his arrest on Thursday, police charged Cunningham with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, three counts of felony domestic violence protective order violation with a weapon, shooting into occupied property, possession of a firearm on educational property, and communicating threats.

Villa Heights Elementary School is located off Everett Place in east Charlotte. Thursday was the school's fourth day of classes for the 2018-19 school year.