By Peter Szekely
(Reuters) - A fistfight between two North Carolina high school students turned deadly on Monday when one of them pulled out a handgun and fired at the other in a crowded hallway before the start of classes, authorities said.
The alleged shooter, identified only as a male student at David W. Butler High School in Matthews, a suburb southeast of Charlotte, was quickly taken into custody, police said.
“There are no other threats or dangers to any of the students or staff, or anyone in the area of the school,” Captain Stason Tyrrell of the Matthews Police Department told reporters near the school.
“I can just tell you that the shooter was taken into custody by Matthews Police Department, and his family is aware as well," Tyrrell said.
The school briefly went into a lockdown as the wounded student, who was also not identified by police, was rushed to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. The student died there a few hours later, they said.
Students were later released to their anxious parents who had jammed the area around the school, while police spent much of the day interviewing witnesses and combing over the crime scene.
Surveillance video shows the two students getting into a fight before the shooting, Tyrrell said.
“From what I’ve seen and the information I’ve received, our school resource officer was very nearby when it took place, and the situation became under control very quickly,” he added.
Charlotte Mecklenburg School Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said the school did not have a policy of searching every bag that enters the school, but said all security procedures would be reviewed following the shooting.
Keeping firearms out of schools has become an urgent issue across the country since a suspect killed 17 in a shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February.
"I don’t know how a young person gets a handgun in the state of North Carolina," Wilcox told reporters. "But we are going to look into all those things, and we will do our best to make sure that this never happens again."
(Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; additional reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Tom Brown)