Cleveland County SRO Supervisor reflects on Florida school shooting

CLEVELAND COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Word of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida spread fast Wednesday afternoon.

The situation reminded one Cleveland County sheriff's deputy of an incident he had encountered more than a decade ago.

"An eighth grader fired a couple shots into an occupied classroom. The kid was taken into custody in a stairwell about 20 seconds after the shooting had occurred," said Captain Jon Wright with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office.

Wright, a veteran of the agency, said the chaos he encountered that day reminded him of what was happening in Florida.

"There was so much chaos and going from room to room and clearing the rooms and some of the kids had run out the back door," recalled Wright.

That situation was not as serious as the one officers in Florida were faced with. Wright, a parent and supervisor of school resource officers in Cleveland County, said it is hard to comprehend such terrible incidents.

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"It's horrific. Absolutely horrific. Any of us that are parents, you can't even begin to fathom that," said the captain.

He said deputies in Cleveland County train for rapid response situations and use the local schools to simulate active shooter scenarios. He said it helps to be proactive when preparing for the worst.

"It's that one disgruntled kid we have to look out for. We have to be proactive and hopefully people come to us and tell if there is a problem."

While the country will mourn the lives lost in Wednesday's devastating shooting, Wright doesn't think the incident should change the way others live their lives.

"We can't live in fear. We gotta live our lives and know that people, particularly in our county that are there to protect them, are doing their absolute best to do that," said Wright.

The captain said that sheriff's deputies in Cleveland County have been attending rapid response training every year since 1999. Wright also noted that every school resource officer in Cleveland County is also a parent.

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