Students at Carver High School Return to Classes After School Shooting
A crisis response is on site Tuesday at Carver High School in Winston-Salem to help staff, students and parents, after a shooting at the school on Friday. Police say two students were involved in the incident.
Carver High School was placed on lockdown for more than two hours after the shooting. The suspect, 18 year-old Christopher Lamont Richardson, was taken into custody by a school resource officer without incident.
Police say the victim, 15 year-old Antwain Deshaun Porter, a football player at the school, was shot with a .38 caliber handgun. Police say Porter sustained non-life threatening injuries and has been released from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
According to authorities, the shooting was a result of on-going dispute between Richardson and Porter.
Amari Crowell is a freshman at Carver. He was one of several students who were waiting to re-enter the school after a routine fire drill on Friday afternoon. He says he can’t shake what he saw.
“The first time I thought somebody had popped a lighter and I saw the smoke. Everybody started looking around and then I heard a second shot and saw smoke and I started running behind one of my football teammates,” says Crowell.
Crowell is among hundreds of students at Carver heading back to class Tuesday, after Friday’s terrifying events. Seniors Akasha Davis and Alexus Mosley say they are worried about safety on school grounds.
“I’m scared but I’m going to go,” says Davis. “I’m feeling paranoid and it will be frantic looking around everywhere. There are a lot of different emotions. We recently had another gun incident, so this just makes it more horrifying,” says Mosley.
This is the second time a gun has made its way onto school grounds at Carver within the past year. Police say in January, they found a gun in a student’s backpack. City police chief Barry Rountree credits Tim Wilson, the SRO on duty for responding so quickly to the situation, and securing the scene.
Students Tyler Hamilton and Carl Jones say they want to see more police protection around the school.
“Maybe some more school resource officers into the building. We need to get more police officers to be on duty,” says Hamilton. “I can’t go to school and get an education with this stuff happening. I see it out in the streets and I can’t learn stuff with all of this stuff going on,” says Jones.
Several parents like Michael Miles say they are also worried about safety at Carver High School. He would like to see metal detectors placed at school entrances.
“This has got to stop. I’m an alumnus of Carver and this stuff wasn’t heard of in the 70’s and I’m thinking about pulling my son out of the school,” says Miles.
But school officials say parents and students should not have a knee jerk reaction to the shooting. Ronald Travis is the principle at Carver.
“It saddens me deeply as the principle here and it affected my babies, but I want to be clear here that we do not serve a student body that has to be patrolled by armed guards. Carver High School has never been that place. Carver High School will never be that place, regardless of popular opinion,” says Travis.
School officials believe the last school shooting in the district occurred in the late 1960's.
Beverly Emory, the superintendent of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, says Carver is as safe as any other school in the district. She says school officials are working closely with law enforcement to explore more safety options.
“Over the years since Columbine, metal detectors have come and gone. I think some of that is the practical nature of how do you get hundreds of kids through metal detectors every morning and I’m also under the understanding that they are not 100 percent accurate. We are going to use the situation to learn and look at what do we need to do differently and are there things we can do to make our kids safe,” says Emory.
Many Carver High School students say they plan to wear their school colors this week, blue and Vegas gold to show support for their school and the two students involved in last week’s shooting.
“I just feel really bad about what happened but I just want to pray for the family of the victim and that something like this never happens again because our school is stereotyped and we have tried really hard to bring up test scores and stuff and this just really sets us back,” says Brittany Peebles, a senior at Carver.
Police say Richardson is charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm on school property, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and discharging a firearm within city limits.
Richardson’s court date is scheduled for Sept. 26.
In the meantime, the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the school board will hold a public meeting on September 10 to discuss ways to enhance safety in the public school system. That meeting will take place at 5 p.m. in the Education Building on Bethania Station Rd.