CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Detectives investigating the fatal shooting inside Butler High School are hoping the alleged shooter’s cell phone will help answer lingering questions, according to information in a search warrant made public Tuesday.
According to the documents, an investigation revealed the shooting incident between Jatwan Cuffie and Bobby McKeithen stemmed from a prior fight in a Harris Teeter parking lot on Margaret Wallace and Idlewild Road. on Friday, Oct. 26.
Cuffie told police he texted McKeithen, asking who he thought won the fight, and that McKeithen indicated the other person did, not Cuffie.
The 16-year-old then texted McKeithen back, saying he “only thought that because [McKeithen] was with the other guys.” Cuffie said McKeithen asked “who is going to check me about it” and Cuffie replied that he was.
Cuffie indicated that one of the men involved in the Harris Teeter altercation wanted to “get him at school.” He said he also got a text asking if he “had beef with [McKeithen] too,” and that he didn’t text back.
Several witnesses and associates stated the “beef” between Cuffie and McKeithen transpired through text messages, social media and comments on photos, the warrant stated. Authorities say they believe information stored on the phone will help with the investigation.
In a press briefing on the day of the shooting, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox initially said the shooting stemmed from bullying that “escalated out of control.”
“As fear took over, a young person brought a gun to solve the problems,” Wilcox said in that press conference.
The day after the shooting, McKeithen’s family addressed these statements issued by Dr. Wilcox.
McKeithen’s mother, Ashley Mewborn, says her son was not a bully. She said her son had a "heart of gold' and helped take care of his younger siblings without asking.
When asked about the role of bullying in this incident, Chief Pennington’s statement read "at this point we have uncovered no information that supports a claim of bullying in the typical sense of the word.”