Former principal recalls gunman inside local school - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Former principal recalls gunman inside local school

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SHELBY, NC (WBTV) -

A former middle school assistant principal says he agrees with the National Rifle Association's idea to have an armed guard at every school in America.

Jeff Benfield was the assistant principal at Burns Middle School, just outside Shelby, in 2003. He tells WBTV, he was confronted by a student holding a gun.

"I started to go up the stairs, and at that time, the student was coming down the stairs," Benfield said.

Authorities say the boy shot through a door and ceiling. Benfield says a school resource officer by the name of Tim Russ tackled the student to the ground and took the gun from him.

"He's the real hero," Benfield said.

On Friday, the NRA proposed the idea to have armed guards in all schools.

"Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else; as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work," Lobbyist Wayne LaPierre said. "And by that I mean armed security."

Jeff Benfield calls the idea controversial, but smart.

 "It would be very expensive, but how many times can we lose kindergartners and first graders," he said.

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