2 handguns located, students arrested after fight leads to lockdown at NC high school

North Carolina news

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (WJZY) – Hopewell High School in Huntersville went on lockdown and students were asked to remain in their classes after a fight broke out and weapons were found.

“Families, we are currently on a lockdown and students have been asked to remain in their classes. We will keep you informed about dismissal procedures. Your cooperation is appreciated,” the email stated.

Huntersville police tell FOX 46 that a fight broke out between students during class change around 12:30 p.m. The motive for the fight is unknown at this time.

During the fight, a black handgun fell to the ground and was picked up by a student. During the investigation, a student involved in the fight was taken into custody and a second loaded handgun was located on them.

A CMS Police K-9 unit and Huntersville police searched the school and multiple classrooms but were unable to find the initial weapon picked up by a student. That weapon was later located on a school bus when a student on the bus notified the bus driver they saw the gun. Officers were still on the scene at the time and were able to take the student with that gun into custody.

The gun on the school bus was positively identified as the first gun seen during the fight and it appears the gun was reported stolen. Huntersville police continue to have students in custody, their names and ages are not being released at this time.

The lockdown was lifted shortly after 3:30 p.m.

Hopewell High School Principal Tracey Pickard released a statement to parents following the incident:

Titan families and students,
This is Principal Pickard with an important message about incidents that occurred at our school today. We received information that led to a lockdown and a search by law enforcement for a firearm on campus. During the search, a firearm was found in a student’s book bag. In a separate incident during dismissal, a bus driver observed two students with a firearm, which also was recovered by law enforcement. No threat was made in either incident, and all students and staff were safe, but dismissal was delayed for some of our students. Please speak with your students about the serious consequences of bringing any weapon to school. It is a violation of law and the CMS Code of Student Conduct. Thank you for your support of Hopewell High School. Safety will continue to be our priority.

Hopewell High School Principal Tracey Pickard

I am concerned and I know I’m not alone.

Guns are coming into our schools from homes and our streets.

We must address this problem, but also the underlying issues that are leading to school-age adolescents getting access to guns in the first place. That is a conversation that involves CMS, but it must be broader than that.

We cannot come at this alone. I am asking my counterparts in local municipal government and local law enforcement leadership to join me for the first of what might need to be a series of discussions. We must get guns out of young people’s hands. When our community rises to that challenge, our schools will be able to focus on our mission of educating students. 

CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston

To the CMS community,

As a parent, I understand the concerns many families are sharing about news coverage of incidents of misconduct. It is difficult for me to not give in to the parental instinct of providing information to help others gain a better understanding of situations, which many times prove more complex than news reports might lead one to conclude. 

As the leader of the district, I am bound by law to not disclose confidential information about such matters as individual student discipline or ongoing police investigations. 

We take all allegations of misconduct very seriously, and our staff is trained to follow proper procedures in reporting. District leaders review assertions of Title IX reporting problems and will take appropriate action in the event any review reveals action is necessary. 

Earlier this year, I requested the creation of a Title IX task force. That task force has been working together to discuss recommended improvements in how our district handles allegations of misconduct. In a few weeks, I will receive a report from the task force. I will review the report for recommendations to make our schools safer.

CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston

A parent sent an email to FOX 46, signed “pissed off parent.” They also have a version of the fight video, and the video of police chasing a student. But they want to remain anonymous to protect their children and say, “We as parents want answers as to how this is going to end. Enough is enough. Our children shouldn’t have to be afraid to go to school.”

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