North Carolina student dies in school shooting, suspect in custody

The incident at Mount Tabor High School was the second school shooting this week in North Carolina. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLEMAPS

NORTH CAROLINA (REUTERS) - A North Carolina high school student was shot and killed on Wednesday (Sept 1) by a fellow student, who was taken into custody hours after the incident, police said.

Student William Chavis Raynard Miller Jr was shot at Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem shortly after noon, Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson told reporters. Pandemics rushed Miller, whose age was not disclosed, to the hospital where he later died, she said.

After a five-hour search, the police said the suspect, a student whom they declined to identify, was taken into custody without incident.

The shooting in Winston-Salem, a city of 250,000 people, is the latest outbreak of gun violence that has become a regular occurrence at schools and college campuses across the United States over the past several years.

Ms Thompson gave no further details on the shooting or a motive but said the investigation was ongoing.

As the incident unfolded, other schools in the area were put on lockdown while dozens of police officers, paramedics and panicked parents raced to Mount Tabor High School.

"It's a punch in your stomach and takes your breath away not knowing if your children are safe," Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O'Neill said during the news conference.

Terrified students at the school of 1,500 hid under desks. At least one student suffered from a seizure, Ms Thompson said.

The police and school officials were working into the evening to reunite parents with students, and grief counsellors were meeting with families at the reunification centre.

The incident was the second school shooting this week in North Carolina.

On Monday, a student suffered non-life threatening injuries when another student opened fire at him at New Hanover High School in Wilmington, local media reported. The suspect faces four charges including attempted first-degree murder.

National parent-teacher association (PTA) president Anna King and North Carolina PTA president Francelia Burwell called on lawmakers to address gun violence. "Parents should not have to fear for the safety of their children due to senseless gun violence," they said.

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