William Chavis Raynard Miller Jr. died Wednesday after a terrifying school shooting erupted at Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, NC. The victim was shot during the incident and rushed to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries, officials said.
According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect was taken into custody “without incident.” The suspect’s name and relationship with the victim are unknown. Police believe the suspect is a student at Mount Tabor High School, though that fact hasn’t been confirmed. It was reported that the suspect was taken in with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force.
Authorities have not identified a motive in the tragic school shooting Wednesday. The sheriff’s office said that “the investigation is ongoing and [it] will release more information as appropriate.” The department did share its “continued prayers for the family and loved ones of William Chavis Raynard Miller Jr.”
Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill said that “it’s like a punch in your stomach, and it takes your breath away, not knowing if your children are safe, your friend’s children are safe, your neighbor’s children are safe.”
He continued, admitted that “you’re in agony until you figure out what’s happening and what has gone on. As a parent as the district attorney, there’s really no worse feeling you can imagine.”
In a news conference Wednesday, Winston-Salem Police Chief Katrina Thompson said 0 while fighting back tears – that William Chavis Raynard Miller Jr. “was located with a gunshot wound” after the shooting unfolded. She explained that “medical responders began lifesaving measures, and the injured student was transported” to a nearby hospital “where he succumbed to his injuries.”
She told reporters that “we have a mother and family who will not be able to hug their child tonight.” There was only a single victim in the Mount Tabor High School shooting, however other students had trauma-related health issues following the scary incident.
Police reported that one student had a seizure, though it wasn’t confirmed what the cause had been. Other students were in tears following the incident and authorities will be providing mental health services for those affected.
Right after the shooting erupted, students were told to shelter in place. Then, about 10 minutes later, police officers stormed the school with rifles, screaming: “Police department, put your hands up!” The officers escorted the roughly 1,500 students to a separate location where they were told to bring their cell phones but “leave your bags in place.”
The horrifying incident inside the school has caused severe trauma in the students. However, photos showed one of the most heartbreaking effects of the shooting.
One image showed William Chavis Raynard Miller’s father, Kiwannie James Sr., breaking down in tears after hearing of his son’s tragic death. In the photo, he knelt down and wiped the tears from his eyes. Another picture showed a devastated mother who received the news 30 minutes after the shots were fired at the school.
Governor Roy Cooper posted a statement to his Twitter account Wednesday. He said that “for the second time this week, we have seen a shooting in a North Carolina school. Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and all the students of Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem.”
He continued, explaining that he has “been briefed by law enforcement and the Department of Public Safety is ready to provide any support necessary. We must work to ensure the safety of students and educators, quickly apprehend the shooter, and keep guns off school grounds.”
While the shooter was apprehended quickly, it wasn’t immediately clear what the governor’s plan was to keep guns out of North Carolina schools.
Christopher Johnson, a parent at the school, pointed out that “you see stuff like this in the media. It’s scary to know that it actually reached out and touched you this time. My son’s not a victim but he’s part of this and he’ll probably remember this forever.”