CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The emotional trauma for a parent whose child is in a school shooting is intense. Parents from Butler High School now know that trauma firsthand.
After hearing about shootings in schools around the country, parents in Matthews knew it could happen, they just assumed it would not happen at their child’s school.
But this morning at Butler High School, a fight that started with bullying ended in the deadly shooting of 16-year-old Bobby McKeithen.
The suspected shooter, 16-year-old Jatwan Cuffie, shot McKeithen inside a hallway near the cafeteria.
Many students who were witnesses to the fight sent reactionary messages to their parents after the shots rang out.
“I was at work and I received a text message from my son saying if I die I love you,” said Brandi Henry, the mother of a Butler High student.
Messages like that went out from students to their to parents all across the Matthews area after the shooting around 7:15 this morning.
“The only thing she told me was I’m afraid I don’t want to be here,” said Monica Moiera, mother of Butler student. “As a parent you don’t want to get that call.”
Many parents were at work, some out of the state, and felt helpless to get to their children inside the school.
“You envision a worst case scenario and hope that’s not what’s transpiring at the school," said David Solar, the father of a Butler student. "But it’s scary.”
In the face of uncertainty and distress trying to protect their children, many parents turned to their faith.
“It was terrifying but I got on my knees and prayed and I knew he was covered by God,” said Tyshea Olive, the mother of a Butler student.
For that student who lost his life, parents are mourning for the family.
To other parents who are safe with their kids, the message from the parents of students at Butler say to not take being with them for granted.
“If you have a kid today just hug your kids make sure that they are ok because it’s a privilege,” said Moiera.