Few answers in school shooting at Mount Tabor

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 3, 2021

By Tom Foreman Jr.

Associated Press

WINSTON-SALEM  — State and local leaders offered encouragement and compassion Thursday to students and the mother of a high school boy fatally shot on campus the day before, but released no new details about the suspect, including whether he knew the victim or attended the school.

“This is a pain and a fear that no child or parent should ever have to confront, simply by having a child go to school,” Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference that began moments after he spoke with the family of William Chavis Raynard Miller Jr., the victim of the shooting at Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem on Wednesday.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office announced on its Twitter page that the suspect, who was not identified, was apprehended Wednesday evening. District Attorney Jim O’Neill provided no additional information at Thursday’s news conference, such as whether the suspect and the victim knew each other, whether the gun used in the shooting had been recovered or if criminal charges had been filed. The suspect was believed to have been a student at the high school, but O’Neill wouldn’t confirm it.

The district attorney also referred to the influence of gangs on young people and how there was a need for more after-school programs and volunteer workers to lure teenagers away from violent behavior. He didn’t say whether the shooting was related to gang activity, however.

Cooper also said steps need to be taken to keep guns away from school campuses. Installing metal detectors in high schools is a “pretty dramatic step” but “you cannot take it off the table,” he said.

“You have to be ready to use any tool that you have to make sure that schools are safe,” the governor said.

Mount Tabor, with an enrollment of more than 1,500 students, canceled classes Thursday and today.