Forsyth County deputies searching for suspect after shots fired in area near Parkland High School: ‘All students and staff on our campus are safe’

Piedmont Triad News

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Parkland High School in Winston-Salem was on lockdown Friday afternoon.

Law enforcement officials are investigating after several shots were fired in an area near the campus around 4 p.m., according to Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough.

No injuries have been reported.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and Winston-Salem Police Department responded to the scene after getting a call reporting a fight and another call reporting shots being fired at Parkland Park, according to a WSPD news release.

Deputies are currently searching for the suspect who fired the shots.

Kimbrough said the shooter came from a wooded area and is being tracked by deputies and a K9 unit.

“We’re going to find who did this,” Kimbrough said. “I promise you that.”

The incident didn’t happen at the school, and classes were over for the day when the school was put on precautionary lockdown, according to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Spokesperson Brent Campbell.

Campbell shared the following statement:

Please be advised that Parkland High School is no longer on Community Lockdown. We have no reports of an incident on the campus of Parkland High School. All students and staff on our campus are safe. Those students who were in the process of dismissing from campus when the lockdown was called can now leave. The buses that were stopped from leaving campus as a result of the lockdown are moving again.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Superintendent Tricia McManus released a statement asking the community for help addressing violence in Winston-Salem schools.

The full statement is provided below:

“First, thank you to our staff at Parkland High School for the quick action in following safety protocols and keeping our students and staff safe as shots were heard near Parkland High School on Friday afternoon. Just after school was dismissed, the shots were heard, thankfully they were not on our campus. Even though school had dismissed, our staff followed protocols and moved any remaining students indoors while law enforcement investigated the situation nearby. At this time, we have no information to suggest this event involved anyone on our campus. What it does suggest is further proof that months of violence in our community neighborhoods, and on our streets must be addressed. A horrific incident on the Mount Tabor campus, a fight at Parkland, both appear to be related to conflicts that did not start at school. Rest assured I am working with our district teams and school principals to keep our campuses as safe as possible. I am talking with law enforcement partners daily as they work with us in this endeavor. We must all come together to examine strategies for how to protect our students and teach our teens positive behaviors inside and outside of school. I’m calling on our community partners, our neighborhood liaisons, our faith-based leaders, our community role models, our parents, and everyone to be the eyes and ears when students aren’t in school, when the conflicts arise, or when young people gain access to weapons. Our law enforcement partners, and our schools need you to tell us what you know. Now more than ever we need you to continue working with us to create environments where children see that violence is never the answer.”

Shell casings have been recovered.

“This is Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This should not be happening,” Kimbrough said.

The investigation is ongoing.

The WSPD is asking for the public’s help in this case. Anyone with any information regarding this incident or similar crimes is asked to call the WSPD at (336) 773-7700, Crime Stoppers at (336) 727-2800, or En Espanol (336) 728-3904. Text-A-Tip Program at (336) 276-1717 allows you to anonymously text tips, photos, and videos to the WSPD. You can also view “Crime Stoppers of Winston-Salem Forsyth County” on Facebook.

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