MATTHEWS, N.C. — A high school student accused of shooting and killing another student at Butler High School in Matthews, North Carolina, Monday morning has been arrested.
Jatwan Cuffie, 16, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of 16-year-old Bobby McKeithen, according to authorities at a press conference on Monday.
Officials said the shooting happened in a main hallway at about 7 a.m. after a fight between the suspect and victim.
Cuffie admitted to the crime and surrendered at the school, according to authorities. He was apprehended in a classroom.
The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he died.
The school had been put on lockdown, but the lockdown has been lifted. Butler High School will not have school or athletic events on Tuesday.
Police believe this was an isolated incident and have obtained the weapon.
The suspect and victim were both 16, but the suspect was in 9th grade, while the victim was in 10th grade.
Police said a school resource officer was nearby and reached the victim within 15 to 20 seconds after the shooting. The officer then placed the school on lockdown and informed other law enforcement.
“We’re incredibly sad, and we’re sorry for this family,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox. “But we’re also sorry for the young person who thought the only way to solve this problem was with a gun.”
Families were initially told to meet at Elevation Church on East Independence Boulevard, according to WSOC. Parents desperate for answers started marching from the church.
Drone video showed dozens of parents headed toward the school to check on their children. The school was on lockdown for about two hours.
A CMS spokesperson released the following statement:
"Our hearts are with the family, loved ones, friends and everyone affected by the tragedy which occurred this morning at Butler High School. Counseling is available to any student or staff who wishes to speak to someone. The Butler High School community and CMS appreciates the support of the entire community during this difficult time. CMS will provide updates throughout today, as warranted."
Governor Roy Cooper released the following statement:
"I am heartbroken to hear about today's school violence that has taken the life of a high school student in Matthews, and my family is praying for this community. I have been in touch with local officials to offer condolences and state support as needed. As we get more information it is critical that we come together to do everything in our power to prevent these incidents from happening and keep guns out of our schools."
State Superintendent Mark Johnson released the following statement:
"I am heartbroken to hear that we have lost a student to school violence in one of our schools. We have contacted Charlotte-Mecklenburg authorities and will assist in any way we can, but of course our first thoughts are for the parents and other loved ones of the student who passed away. The safety of our students is paramount. This is a sad day for all of North Carolina, and we must work together as a community to address these problems."