MATTHEWS, NC (WBTV) - David W. Butler High School parents and students alike are still reacting to a fatal shooting that took place on campus Monday morning.
Lester Henline, a senior at the school, explained that Bobby McKiethen and Jatwan Cuffie had been wrestling in a hallway prior to the shooting. He explained that fights happen often at Butler but do not escalate to the level they did today. Henline explained that after tussling back and forth, Cuffie pulled a gun from his pants.
“Anytime you see a gun pointed at somebody, you panic.” said Henline. “When he pulled out the handgun, obviously Bobby was frozen, but he didn’t actually think ‘you’re going to shoot me’, so he just turned around, and he got shot in the back."
Students weren’t the only ones panicking following the shooting as parents were initially told to meet at the Matthews campus of Elevation Church, located across Independence Blvd. from the school. After arriving at the school, however, parents were informed that students actually would not be bused to them and that they could not, at that time, leave the school.
“Going to Elevation and all that and then hearing, “oh they are not letting them leave,” said one parent. “Coming here in this chaos, to get in line, to sign out your child. Meanwhile, you have your child texting you to come get them. There must be a better way. I am all about policies and procedures, but this was mayhem.”
At one point, several parents that were waiting at Elevation, gathered a group and walked across Independence, through the police barricade, and to the front door of Butler High School.
"I did it because I wanted my son and I wanted to hold him. He was left in there. There needs to be a better plan and I went to go get him,” said a parent.
Parents point out that they received alerts from CMS about arresting the shooter and recovering the gun. They also got an alert when the lockdown was lifted, but no instructions on how to pick up their children.
“I think CMS handled this the best they could. These things are not expected,” said one parent. "Every so often we were getting messages from the principal saying what was going on at the school.”