Man arrested after firearm goes off during struggle with officer at Kernersville Elementary School


Jalen C. Cockerham

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KERNERSVILLE, N.C. – Police said a man was arrested after his firearm went off during a struggle with Kernersville police during a youth football game at Kernersville Elementary School.

Jalen C. Cockerham, 22, was arrested and charged with felony possession of a firearm on educational property, according to a Kernersville police press release.

Police said officers were called to Kernersville Elementary School at 512 W. Mountain St. at about 11 a.m. Saturday in reference to a disturbance.

A youth league football game was being held at the school’s football field at the time. Witnesses said a suspect had a firearm.

An officer approached the suspect and a struggle ensued, according to police. The suspect’s firearm was discharged during the struggle.

No injuries were reported. All games for the day at the school have been suspended.

The Kernersville Raiders released a statement on Saturday, saying that the organization strives to create a safe and enjoyable environment at their stadium.

“We have been diligent about making sure that we have the proper authorities in place during each event to ensure the safety of everyone who attends our activities,” the statement said, in part. “Today, our diligence paid off. During an event hosted by the Piedmont Youth Football and Cheer League, an unknown person, who has no affiliation with our organization, brought a firearm onto the field.”

“We’d like to thank the Kernersville Police Department for continuing to make our facilities safe. We’d also like to offer an apology to all who felt unsafe. Our number one priority continues to be the safety of those who come to our field.”

The suspect was jailed under a $3,000 bond in Forsyth County.

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