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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The teenager accused of fatally shooting a fellow student at a North Carolina high school appeared before a judge Tuesday as his public defender requested a low bond and permission for the boy to stay home with his mother while awaiting trial.

Jatwan Craig Cuffie, the ninth-grade student charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the death of Bobby McKeithen, 16, appeared in shackles in Mecklenburg County District Court.

Cuffie, 16, showed virtually no emotion as Judge David Strickland explained the charges the boy faces after McKeithan was shot a day earlier in a hallway of Butler High School in Matthews, a Charlotte suburb. Cuffie said nothing when the judge asked him if he had any words.

Public Defender Joel Adelman asked Strickland to set Cuffie’s bond at $10,000 and place him in his mother’s custody at their home, saying Cuffie poses no threat to the community. Adelman also proposed the teen be placed under electric monitoring.

Strickland said the issue of the bond would be addressed at a hearing scheduled Nov. 7.

Tuesday’s hearing lasted about 10 minutes and Currie then was returned to jail, where he is being held without bond. Moments later, his family left the Mecklenburg County Courthouse without speaking to reporters.

“He’s their son. He’s their baby, he’s 16 years old,” Adelman said of the family. “And it’s difficult for them, as it would be for any parent.”

Prior to the hearing, McKeithen’s family said at a news conference that the 10th grader was a brother with “the biggest heart” who loved sports and dancing.

An affidavit filed in connection with a fatal shooting at a North Carolina high school indicates a recent fight in a store parking lot may have sparked the shooting.

WSOC-TV in Charlotte cites a Mecklenburg County arrest affidavit based on a police interview as saying Jatwan Cuffie was involved in a fight outside a grocery store last Friday with four other boys. According to the affidavit, Bobby McKeithen wasn’t involved in the fight, but was asked his opinion as to who won.

The affidavit said Cuffie took a gun to school for protection Monday, and when the teenagers arrived at Butler High School, McKeithen punched Cuffie in the face as they stood in a hallway. According to the affidavit, Cuffie then shot McKeithen and went to a classroom, where a teacher took a bag containing the gun.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said Monday that the shooting appears to have stemmed from a case of bullying “that escalated out of control,” but McKeithen’s family disputed the idea that McKeithen was a bully.

His mother, Ashley Mewborn, said she’s worried about her other children and wants the school system to do whatever it has to do to keep students safe.

Matthews Police Capt. Stason Tyrrell said a school resource officer was in the school cafeteria at 7:14 a.m. Monday when he and security officers heard a commotion and encountered students running in a nearby hallway. Tyrrell said the resource officer found the victim, tried to give aid and called for a school lockdown. Within minutes, a teacher notified school officials that she was with a student who wanted to turn himself in.

Tim Aycock, public information officer for Matthews police, confirmed Tuesday that the gun used in the shooting was stolen in August from a car in Gaston County, adjacent to Mecklenburg County. Aycock said investigators are trying to determine where Cuffie got the gun.

Also, Aycock said the Mecklenburg County medical examiner found McKeithen died of a single gunshot wound to the torso.

Matthews is about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from downtown Charlotte.

 

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17 thoughts on “Fatal High School Shooting May Have Been Sparked By Bullying

  1. African American Woman on said:

    Wow! The hypocrites are out heavy on here. This kid uses a stolen gun to kill another kid and most of you are saying the kid deserved what he got because the he supposedly bullied the other kid. These same hypocrites went crazy when the guy who told the lady that she was in the handicap space and needed to move. The guy comes out and pushes him to the ground so he shoots. What’s the difference? Absolutely nothing.

  2. Ted Gravely on said:

    The only good news is the young man didn’t shoot up the school. The bad news is as a 16 year old, he felt that problem resolution was best done by shooting someone in the back with a gun. If that kid is a 16 year old Freshman, I can see where he would get bullied. Let’s not fool ourselves, he appears to be a small guy and probably got tired of being the punching bag. Kids tease and are cruel – that cruelty shouldn’t be a death sentence. This is a failure by the school administrators. Yes, I feel for the young man that was murdered; however, just know that anything can set people off these days. Stop the physical and verbal bullying. It always turns out bad.

  3. christianforreal on said:

    You know what the problem is. We are teaching and have taught our children to be big wusses. Our children are super sensitive, cry babies. And when super sensitive crybabies get their feelings hurt they lash out. Unfortunately, they don’t think rationally before they do the lashing, well because we’ve not been taught how to settle conflict and accountability and responsibility. So they lash out when their feelings are hurt and sometimes, oftentimes, someone ends up in the hospital or 6 feet under and the lasher ends up in a jail cell for the rest of their lives. And with many others, who like him/her, has never learned to settle conflict !! Sad, sad, place this world has become

  4. I guess young Mr. McKeithen reasoned that the other four boys got their punches in, he may as well give Mr. Cuffie one for the road. Sadly, it’ll be the last punch he throws. Oh well. Play stupid, games, win stupid prizes.

  5. Mac Daddy on said:

    This is us Peeps. This is what angry single black women raise. Ain’t no need for the KKK, we doing their work for them and much more efficiently

    • Well, well, well. It is Halloween. The freak has come out. We didn’t hear shit from this punk when the trump loving bytch was sending bombs to Dems. Or when the white surpremists shot those ppl in Kentucky or Pittsburgh Bitch get off this website and crawl back under that damn rock.

  6. It’s such a sad tragedy for both families. We all would like to think that our children are heaven-sent perfect angels but they are not. McKeithen may not have been involved in the original fight, however, he interjected himself when he punched Jatwan in the face. Did he deserve to die for that – – no but if he had the “biggest heart” that his family professes that he had then his actions should have gone in a totally different direction. Now, his life has ended and Jatwan will probably not fare much better, alive but imprisoned. That is a death of its own. We have to show and teach our children better.

  7. Phyllis on said:

    Based on a police interview as saying Jatwan Cuffie was involved in a fight outside a grocery store last Friday with four other boys. According to the affidavit, Bobby McKeithen wasn’t involved in the fight, but was asked his opinion as to who won. McKeithen punched Cuffie in the face as they stood in a hallway.

    McKeithen’s family said at a news conference that the 10th grader was a brother with “the biggest heart” who loved sports and dancing. Boo Hoo Hoo. Yet his punk ass sucker punched this child who had already been in a fight 4 against 1. He didn’t deserve to die but his punk ass was no angel.

    • Tunisia Morse on said:

      That young man was in a 4 on fight then got suckered punched at school I’m tired of this, why would you do that, now you dead,I hate he used a gun to solve the problem UT I’m tired of these kids violence against each other, yes parents should be held responsible

  8. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CHILDREN ARE BEING BULLIED. HE HAD BEEN BEAT UP BY 4 PEOPLE AND THEN THIS LITTLE PUNK SOCKS HIM IN THE FACE. THAT CHILD WAS AFRAID AND DID WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS THE ONLY THING HE COULD DO. AND OF COURSE THE PARENT OF THE OTHER CHILD SAY HE WAS NO BULLY. I BET HE WAS. WHY DID HE HIT THAT BOY, WHY DIDN’T HE JUST TO HIS CLASS AND SIT HIS ASS DOWN. THE SHOOTER WAS SRONG AND NOW HE MUST PAY THE PRICE FOR WHAT HE DID, BUT THE BULLY WAS WRONG ALSO, HE DID NOT DESERVE TO LOSE HIS LIFE EITHER. WHO GAVE THAT CHILD THAT GUN, WHY DIDN’T HE JUST WALK AWAY..PROBABLY BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN THREATENED MORE THAN ONCE AND DID NOT KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO. SAD FOR BOTH SETS OF PARENTS. PARENTS TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN, WATCH THEIR BEHAVIOR, KNOW WHEN SOMETHING HAS CHANGED ABOUT THEM. YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR CHILD IS BULLYING PEOPLE, YES YOU DO, BUT YOU JUST THINK OH HE IS A BIG MAN AND CAN TAKE CARE OF HIMSELF. AND THEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS. NOW HOW DO YOU FEEL? SAD, SAD, SAD.

    • Louise E Langley on said:

      I do believe he was being bullied and I’m so sick of all the bullying from students and IT NEEDS TO STOP. Parents of student who lost his life can sit there and say their son was not a bully all they want but they don’t know what their child did…no, he should not have lost his life over it but children are under so much pressure these days and this bullying needs to stop. Its sad that someone have to lose a life in order for it to stop. My heart goes out to both parents but as parents we need to teach our children how to embrace other children and show love and respect instead of hate and control. Please parents, talk to your child/children, find out what’s going on in their day to day life and try to help them. I pray to God that he will remove so much hate in this world and restore love.

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