HU student: When she attended Heritage High, people would bring in weapons “all the time”

Tahera Hamidi | Staff Writer

Script Photojournalist Angela Session

A 15-year-old male was charged with a Sept. 20 double shooting at Heritage High School in Newport News, and in response, a Hampton University student told The Script that when she attended Heritage, “people were sneaking in and bringing in weapons all the time.”

“I was actually in class [at HU] when my friend who works at the Sheriff’s office texted me and told me to check on my sister, but she was not able to tell me why,” said the HU student who graduated from Heritage High, has a younger sibling at the school and asked to remain anonymous.

A 17-year-old boy was shot multiple times at the high school, and a 17-year-old girl was shot once, according to The Daily Press. The suspect has been charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding — each punishable by 20 years to life — and nine gun counts, The Daily Press reported.

“When I called my sister, my heart sank when I heard what was going on,” the HU student said. “She did not sound panicked or anything, so I was doing OK until I learned the severity of the situation. I was honestly so scared I could not function properly.”

WVEC-TV ABC 13 reported Sept. 24 that an anonymous law enforcement official confirmed that the suspect was wearing a tracking bracelet after being charged with shooting another teen last year, when he was 14.

During the Sept. 20 shooting at Heritage, the boy was struck by bullets behind his ear, in his leg and on his finger, while the girl was shot in her shin, The Daily Press reported.

“It was only a matter of time before this happened because even when I went to Heritage, people were sneaking in and bringing in weapons all the time,” the HU student said. “If physical safety is going to be an issue, then the option of in-person school should not be on the table at all.”

Heritage High School responded by temporarily closing the school to students and staff members, as well as switching to a virtual school for the foreseeable future. 

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