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2 students shot at Virginia high school; suspect in custody

Sara Gregory, Jessica Nolte, Peter Dujardin and Lisa Vernon Sparks, The Virginian-Pilot on

Published in News & Features

Classes at Heritage are canceled Tuesday, a spokeswoman said. No decision has been made about the rest of the week. Other Newport News schools will operate normally.

About 1,200 students attend Heritage High, which is in the Southeast Community in Newport News. That includes about 900 high-schoolers and 300 middle-schoolers from Huntington Middle School. There are about 165 staff at the school.

The scene outside the school was “chaotic” at times, Parker said, but he praised students and staff for how they handled the situation. Several people outside the school streamed live video of the aftermath, showing families searching for their children and at least one person being treated.

A freshman said he was leaving the cafeteria and walking up the stairs back to class with a friend when he heard what sounded like one gunshot.

“We all just looked in confusion and then we heard three continuous shots,” Devin Gray said. “We all ran.”

The 14-year-old said he tried an emergency exit door first but it was locked, so then he ran to a classroom and hid under a desk with about 20 others. Gray said they blocked the door with bookshelves.

 

Another student, senior Dominic Banks, said he thought the first shot was a classroom door being slammed. Like Gray, he was leaving the cafeteria when he heard the shots. Banks said students were all running to find somewhere safe. He was able to run outside.

It’s very disappointing,” Banks said. “Everybody in here’s life just got put in danger over one student wanting to bring a gun to the school.”

All athletic activities were canceled Monday and until further notice, Heritage High Athletic Director Michael Gardner said.

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(The Virginian-Pilot staff writers Lyndon German, Sierra Jenkins and Marty O’Brien contributed reporting.)

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