Handwritten note surfaces after armed man chased out of Smith High School cafeteria, arrested


Steve Brantley Spence

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Arrest warrants revealed new details in the Monday afternoon arrest of an armed man at Smith High School and included an image of a handwritten note.

Steve Brantley Spence

An armed suspect was arrested after showing up at Smith High School Monday afternoon, according to Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott.

Steve Brantley Spence, 29, of Norfolk, Virginia, is in custody and faces several charges.

The handwritten note, included in the arrest warrant, features the words "mission" and "hit list," as well as multiple names.

The note appears to detail a cross-country mission, beginning in an unspecified state, going through North Carolina and ending out of state.

The arrest warrant does not give context to the note.

Around 12:40 p.m., Patrick Jordan, a behavioral intervention specialist with Smith High School,  noticed someone who did not fit in.

Lashonti Hines and Patrick Jordan

After Jordan confronted Spence, he allegedly pulled the semi-automatic pistol out of his waist band, according to the warrant. The cafeteria was full of students at the time.

“Words cannot describe what I was going through at the time. Not only as a staff member, but one of my actual children goes to this school so I was in the role of a staff member and a parent. So my main thing was just trying to make the best of the situation,” Jordan said.

Jordan and Assistant Principal Lashonti Hines called for a lockdown and moved students out of the area. Spence left the cafeteria and went into the courtyard area.

"We practice our drill all the time, all the lockdown drills," Hines said. "The district has us do those at least twice a year so, when having those practices, when the real thing happens you just jump right into. Its not even a thought actually."

School Resource Officer D.K. Evans

School Resource Officer D.K. Evans confronted Spence outside the school and Spence pulled out two handguns, one in each hand.

Spence then ran from Evans and was chased, Scott said.

Officers took Spence into custody on the edge of the school property after using a taser to subdue him.

Police reported Spence was wanted in Virginia for assault on a family member, grand larceny of a motor vehicle, grand larceny stolen property and strangling another causing wound or injury.

Greensboro police do not think Spence was targeting students. Police believe Spence’s intended targets at the school were people he had a personal relationship with.

Officers seized a loaded 9mm handgun, a loaded .45 caliber handgun, a long gun and backpack with eight boxes of bullets in it. Spence was in possession of a stolen 2016 Mercedes Benz.

“I think [Evans] did what he needed to do at that point in time for the safety of the students, for the safety of the staff. With the help of other officers we were able to take the suspect into custody and no harm came to him as well,” said Captain Renae Sigmon, supervisor of the School Resource Officer Unit.

In court Monday, when given the opportunity to speak, Spence was rambling about someone named Jeremiah.

Inside the courtroom, his uncle said Spence was a good kid who has a history of mental illness.

The judge ordered a mental evaluation and set Spence's bond at $2 million.

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