High Point police captain discusses how Triad teens are getting guns

Piedmont Triad News

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — An 18-year-old has been arrested after several Guilford County Schools were threatened on social media Tuesday, according to High Point police. 

A juvenile was charged on Tuesday after a gun was found in a backpack at Reynolds High School, according to a Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. 

These are the latest incidents involving Triad school campuses after one student died at a shooting at Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem on Sept. 1. 

Since then there have been four lockdowns: 

  • A threatening phone call was received at McMichael High School in Rockingham County on Sept. 8
  • A student found with a toy pellet gun at Jamestown Middle School in Guilford County on Sept. 9
  • Security alert at High Point Central High School in Guilford County on Sept. 10
  • A gun was found on Parkland High School’s campus in Forsyth County on Sept. 13. 

FOX8’s Tyler Hardin went to the High Point Police Department to ask how teens are getting their hands on weapons. 

“It’s not that they’re going into a store and buying them,” said Captain Matt Truitt with the HPPD.

Truitt is a former school resource officer at Andrews High School. He told FOX8 that weapons like guns are easier to find than people realize. 

“Several hundred guns a year that we take are stolen weapons that someone has broken into either their home or vehicle,” Truitt said. “Whatever the case may be, and they’re sold on the black market.” 

It’s an illegal market teens have greater access to at their fingertips on a cell phone. So far this year, the HPPD has recovered 309 stolen guns, compared to 301 guns at the same time in 2020.

Truitt said gangs are another issue in the school system.

“It’s not just in your high schools. It’s not even in your middle schools. We’re starting to trickle down into the elementary schools,” he said. 

Children as young as 10 years old are getting involved in violent activities. 

“Most of this is masked so much that the parents are oblivious to what’s actually going on,” Truitt said. “We’ve seen times before where a young person’s been arrested, and they are a validated gang member. We arrest them with drugs and or weapons on them, and the parents are completely blown away.” 

Truitt told FOX8 that it takes an effort from parents inside the home to resources on campus to stop a tragedy.

He said if a student is not getting attention at home or school, they may be getting it from a negative influence. 

“Thinking ‘it’s not my child involved in this.’ You have to get out of that because it very well could be your child,” he said.

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