NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Heritage High School student accused of shooting two other teenagers on campus allegedly opened fire in a hallway after getting into a physical fight with one of his victims, according to court records.
Police say the 15-year-old boy shot and injured two 17-year-old students at Heritage High on Monday. The 15-year-old is charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, as well as underage possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm on school property, discharging a firearm on school property, discharging a firearm in an occupied building, reckless handling of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.
10 On Your Side investigators obtained copies of search warrants filed by the Newport News Police Department. Those documents detail the events that led up to the shooting at Heritage High School and name the accused shooter. 10 On Your Side investigators have decided not to name the 15-year-old boy at this time because he is not charged as an adult.
The shooting happened in a hallway just after a lunch period. Surveillance video showed the 15-year-old was wearing a backpack when he left the cafeteria and walked down a hallway. He pulled the backpack to the front of his body, unzipped it, and reached inside it before walking off camera, according to court records.
Another camera picked up the 15-year-old boy while he was walking in a hallway with a large group. A brief fight broke out between the accused boy and a 17-year-old student. The fight only lasted a few seconds before a teacher broke it up, but the 15-year-old boy was captured on video dropping his backpack on the floor, pulling a gun from his waistband, pointing it at the 17-year-old boy, and shooting multiple times, court records state.
The 17-year-old boy was shot in the head and leg. His fingers were also severely injured, and doctors told police that the cause was likely gunfire. A 17-year-old girl who was leaving the cafeteria was also shot as she was walking down the hallway. She told police she heard gunshots, but didn’t see anything. Both teenagers are expected to recover from their injuries, according to court records.
The 15-year-old boy ran away from the scene of the shooting without his backpack. He ran toward the gym and then left the school through a back door. School security guards found a gun inside of a trash can just outside of the door where they believe he left the campus, court records state.
Police identified the alleged shooter in several ways, including from paperwork in the backpack that he left on the scene. They also determined that the 15-year-old was part of an electronic monitoring program through Newport News Juvenile Services. The video showed the 15-year-old was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet at the time of the shooting, and the GPS attached to it showed that he was at Heritage High School at the time of the crime. One of his teachers also said that the 15-year-old left her class for lunch, but did not return, according to court records.
The 15-year-old boy’s parents also received an anonymous phone call stating their son committed the shooting. His family took him to the city’s juvenile services on Monday afternoon. He was interviewed at police headquarters before he was charged.
10 On Your Side spoke to Newport News School Board Chairman Douglas Brown Wednesday, who says he and his fellow members are awaiting more official details from police before developing any plans.
“All of that is to allow time for us to hear back from the police department to hear their report,” he said. “The superintendent’s going to then, when he gets the report from the police department, going to be meeting with our school security and the police department.”
Students and parents could return to Heritage High Wednesday and Thursday to pick up any belongings left at the school on Monday.
Tenth-grade student Julaisy Gomez Cherry said she’s still anxious to go back to school.
“It’s like, I’m not scared, but it’s not a happy feeling,” she said. “I’m supposed to be coming here and feel safe and getting my education but all that happened.”
Heritage High School set up a Support Hotline for those still processing Monday’s shooting. Those needing help can call 757-283-7868.