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‘It’s heartbreaking’: Students mourn after classmate killed in shooting at N.C. high school

Police said a School Resource Officer reported that a student was injured in a shooting and the shooter was still on the loose.
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 1:17 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2021 at 10:58 PM EDT
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WBTV) – A student was shot and killed at a high school in North Carolina Wednesday afternoon.

The report of a shooting happened around 12:07 p.m. at Mount Tabor High School.

Police said a School Resource Officer reported that a student was injured in a shooting and the shooter was still on the loose.

Hours later, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office announced that a suspect was taken into custody without incident.

Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson said the student was taken to Wake Forest Baptist where they were pronounced dead.

“Please pray for the family who lost their son today, and also pray for all of our students in our community,” Thompson said.

The student was identified as William Chavis Raynard Miller Jr.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today and in the difficult days to come,” the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said.

The hours after the tragic shooting, students from Mount Tabor stood together and mourned.

There were tears and hugs.

“You wake up and you’re thinking about things like my quiz and calculus, and here we are suffering the loss of a peer,” said Mount Tabor junior Heath Burgess. “It’s tragic. It’s heartbreaking.”

Wednesday seemed like any other school day for Burgess.

The junior said he was on the way back to Mount Tabor High School from the career center when he heard the news of the shooting.

According to the Winston-Salem Police Department, Mount Tabor High School went on lockdown following a shooting on school property.

Mount Tabor shooting
Mount Tabor shooting(WBTV)

Burgess’s little brother was inside, safe.

“It’s something that you think you’re gonna see on the news like this, and it’s, It’s just, it hits you personally because you never think it will happen to you,” Burgess said.

Thompson said emergency responders entered the school looking for the suspect and any victims.

One student was located with a gunshot wound. Police said no other children were injured.

Police say there is believed to be no additional threat to Mount Tabor High School, but the shooter left the school and is still on the run.

Officials say the shooter is believed to be a student at the school.

“We are doing everything we can to get the suspect in custody,” Thompson said. “That is our commitment and our priority at this time.”

Police secured the campus and are actively investigating what happened. Authorities said many schools in the area were on lockdown out of an abundance of caution. They stressed there has not been another incident.

The lockdowns at those schools have been lifted.

Parents were told to pick up their children at the Harris Teeter. Later in the afternoon, a “disturbance” was reported that was initially referred to as a shooting. Officers came back later and said there has not been confirmation of a second shooting.

“Our primary concern is the safety of all of our children,” Thompson said. “We have another family who won’t be able to huge their child tonight.”

A tweet from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Charlotte field office said special agents have responded to Mount Tabor High.

It was an unthinkable tragedy with many questions left to answer.

“Today, we’re facing it head-on with the death of a student from Mount Tabor High School,” Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines said.

On Wednesday night, at a vigil, faith leaders reminded the community to lean on each other.

“People present tonight were a visible prayer,” said Randy Harris, Pastor at Highland Presbyterian Church.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper later released a statement about the shooting, saying in part: “Our prayers are with the victims, their families and all the students of Mt. Tabor High School in Winston-Salem.”

Cooper is expected to speak from Winston-Salem on Thursday.

This was the second shooting at a North Carolina high school this week.

A 15-year-old student is facing an attempted murder charge after he allegedly shot another student following a fight at New Hanover High School in Wilmington on Monday.

The injured student was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Stay with WBTV for more information as it comes in.

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