A high school in Matthews, North Carolina, resumed classes on Monday, a few hours after a student shot and killed another on campus – a disturbing indication of how common gun violence has become in the United States.
Butler High School, about 12 miles southeast of Charlotte, was locked up at 7 a.m. on Monday night after a male student had shot a gun at another male student in an overcrowded corridor, reported The Associated Press.
The victim was taken to a hospital, where he later died of his injuries, officials said. The suspect was taken into custody and questioned by the police. Authorities have not released the names and ages of the students.
By half past eleven, the Charlotte Mecklenburg schools announced that the lockdown had been lifted. Parents were allowed to pick up their children, but the lessons remained for the remaining students, the school district has tweeted.
Only a small number of students stayed on campus before 13:00, although the teachers had been instructed to finish the day, Tracy Russ, chief communications officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, told HuffPost.
"Lessons remained in session so we could keep students on campus while transport arrangements were made," Russ explained.
An armed school resource officer was on duty at the time of the incident, but it is unclear whether he turned on the shooter, Russ told HuffPost. The school, which does not have metal detectors, plans to revise its security protocols in the aftermath of the shooting, he said.
"This is a tragic event," Russ said. "It is an event that requires support from the whole community of students and family and staff … There will be a lot of healing in the coming days and weeks."
Counseling is available for students and staff members after the shooting, the school district tweeted. Clayton Wilcox, inspector of the Charlotte Mecklenburg schools, told AP that many students witnessed the shooting.
"We are incredibly saddened by the fact that today we have lost our lives on one of our campuses," said Wilcox. "What makes it doubly difficult is that it was one of our students who was the shooter."
"I do not know how a young person gets a gun in the state of North Carolina," he added.
The announcement by the school district that the lessons would continue on Monday drew strong reactions from students, parents and activists on Twitter.
"This is nightmare," said Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the deadly mass shooters at Marjory Stoneman's Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on 14 February.
This is a development story. Please come back later for updates.