Student killed in North Carolina high school shooting, suspect on the loose

North Carolina police hold press conference after school shooting

A gunman killed a student Wednesday during a shooting at a North Carolina high school and a suspect is still on the loose, authorities said.

Authorities responded to Mount Tabor High School just before 12:10 p.m. to reports of a shooting where they were informed that a student was wounded and a suspect, also believed to be a student, was on the loose, an emotional Winston-Salem police Chief, Catrina Thompson, told reporters. 

The school immediately went into lockdown, she said. 

“Medical responders began life-saving measures and the injured student was transported to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries, Thompson said. 

The suspected shooter left the high school and authorities began searching.

Hours later, authorities said all the other students were safe and had been taken to the Harris Teeter grocery store, where they reunited with their parents. The Winston-Salem Police Department said there was a disturbance at the Harris Teeter site but a possible second shooting had not been confirmed. 

“We and the WSPD have secured the campus and are doing everything possible to keep students safe,” the sheriff’s office said. “We are actively investigating what happened and will share confirmed information as appropriate.”

The high school and other schools in the area were placed on lockdown out of an abundance of caution but no other incidents were reported, the Winston-Salem Police Department said. 

“We are actively seeking the suspect,” the department tweeted. “We have no confirmed information of any other shootings or injuries.”

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) office in Charlotte also responded to the scene. 

A couple told Fox affiliate WGHTV that their daughter was at the school at the time of the shooting but that they have gotten in contact with her and she is safe. 

“Your heart stops for a few minutes until you finally get in touch with them,” the father said. 

Christopher Johnson said that his son told him that he heard the gunshots while in the school gym and students were told to hide because there was an active shooter on campus.

“You see stuff like this in the media,” Johnson, whose son was still at the school awaiting transportation to a pickup point, told the Associated Press. “It’s scary to know that it actually reached out and touched you this time. My son’s not a victim, but he’s part of this and he’ll probably remember this forever.”

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said he has been briefed about the shooting.

“For the second time this week, we have seen a shooting in a North Carolina school,” he said in a statement. “Our prayers are with the victims, their families and all the students of Mt. Tabor High School in Winston-Salem.”

“We must work to ensure the safety of students and educators, quickly apprehend the shooter and keep guns off school grounds,” he added. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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