After a “bullying conflict escalated out of control” at Butler High School in Matthews, NC, one student is no longer alive and another is being held in police custody, facing a first-degree murder charge [Source: ABC News]. According to CNN, an issue had arisen between 16-year-old Bobby McKeithen, a sophomore, and 16-year-old Jatwan Craig Cuffie a few days ago which led to the problem intensifying. Unfortunately, Cuffie decided to take it upon himself to “handle” the situation by bringing a loaded gun to school on Monday, October 29th.
The two males were said to have been out in the hallway nearby to the cafeteria just before the morning school bell was about to ring when two police officers and a school resource officer who had been directing traffic in front of the school overheard a commotion. Shots had been fired. All three officers entered the school within minutes and found McKeithen there in the hallway. They began giving the victim first aid within 15 to 20 seconds, says Matthews Police Capt. Stason Tyrrell. CNN reported that after “about five to seven minutes after the shooting, authorities learned from a teacher that she was with the suspected shooter.” Tyrell stated that the suspect “admitted to the shooting and around 7:25 a.m., he was [prepared] to surrender.”
Cuffie was detained, transported to the Mecklenburg County Jail, and is now facing a first-degree murder charge as we mentioned above.
Unlike some of the other school shootings that have occurred in the past, this one is said to have been an isolated incident. However, “several people knew there was a chance of an altercation on Monday morning” based on the fact that the two had an ongoing issue with one another. And sadly, “fear took over, [and] a young person bought a gun to solve the problems,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox.
Now, parents and students are both wondering how Cuffie managed to get a loaded gun on the school campus without anyone knowing. And according to Wilcox, “there really is no easy answer.” The fact is, the school doesn’t have a metal detector and students aren’t searched upon entering the building, so it wasn’t exactly a challenge for Cuffie to bring the loaded gun into the school.
Wilcox did say that the school would be closed on Tuesday and an investigation would likely begin so that officials are able to learn what series of events occurred prior to the shooting that caused it to escalate to the level that it did. Because the incident is still fresh, there aren’t many details emerging in terms of what was going on between the two teens and if the altercation was, in fact, a mere result of one of the teens being bullied. Sources haven’t yet said anything more on the status of Cuffie except that he was under arrest, although it would be in his best interest to hire a North Carolina criminal defense lawyer as the charge he is facing is one that carries serious penalties.
As the days go on and officials gain a better understanding of why the incident occurred, you can expect sources to provide the public with more details on this developing story.