By Kerry Dougherty
School officials are wringing their hands in Newport News right now, wondering what they could have done to prevent a shooting at Heritage High School that left a 17-year-old boy and girl with bullet wounds.
On Monday morning, outside of the school cafeteria, the boy was shot in the head and leg, the girl was also shot in her leg and several other students were injured in the chaos that followed the incident. Frightened kids were herded out of the school to Heritage’s tennis courts, where they waited for their parents.
The alleged shooter, a 15-year-old student, has been arrested and charged with an array of felonies, including two counts of aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of using of a firearm in the commission of a felony and other weapons charges.
If convicted — and not cut loose by a soft-headed governor — this kid will be in prison for a very long time. He was transported to juvenile detention once he was apprehended. It wasn’t hard to find him. According to court records the suspect was wearing a tracking device, placed on his ankle by juvenile authorities.
Juvenile records are not public, so we are left to speculate on why the alleged shooter was wearing electronic tracking. Sources in law enforcement tell me that he was likely out on bond from juvenile court or he was on juvenile probation. Who knew there was such a thing? I assumed that when most teens commit crimes they live in juvenile detention until they turn 18. I was wrong.
Even more shocking, The Daily Press reports that another student in the suspect’s fifth period class also wears an electronic monitoring device. I wonder how many others in that school are outfitted with similar fashion accessories?