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Teen suspect arrested after shots fired at HCMS parking lot

South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
South Boston Police find bullet casings in the HCMS parking lot nearby the football stadium. / June 28, 2020
Gunshots rang out from the Halifax Middle School bus parking lot Friday night around 10 p.m. after a fight broke out at the stadium.

A group of people — adults, students and students not in the county school system — reportedly were playing a game of 7-on-7 pickup football at the high school stadium when the scene dissolved into gunfire. No one was injured, but a Honda sedan parked at the HCMS parking lot appears to have been struck twice by gunfire.

An unnamed 17-year-old male suspect was taken into custody and charged with attempted malicious wounding, reckless handling of a firearm, discharging a weapon on school property, and underage possession of a firearm.

According to South Boston Police, a group of adults and juveniles were in the stadium area when an argument and a fight subsequently broke out. Officers learned that after the fight, the 17-year-old retrieved a handgun and began firing shots.

Billy Vaughan, who lives across the road from the middle school, was outside doing yard work at the same time.

“I heard a bunch of commotion, there was a lot of yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs, the sounds were aggressive and coming from the across the road,” said Vaughan.

“Then I heard about nine gunshots, and at least 10 cars came flying out of the lot [onto Halifax Road],” he said.

It was about 20 minutes later when “there were more cop cars than I could count, some were Sheriff’s deputies and other unmarked vehicles,” said Vaughan, who added a rescue squad ambulance came later.

On Saturday, South Boston police officers searched for bullet casings that were strewn about the parking lot. The officers recovered four bullet casings in and around the parking space numbered 20.

Superintendent of Schools Mark Lineburg confirmed that the shooting came after a football outing at Tuck Dillard Stadium. “There was an incident at the stadium and I think they were playing football on the field. Some of those involved were students, some were adults, and others were not our students.

“This incident is completely unacceptable. There is not an American out there that does not know that guns are not allowed on a school campus. I hope those who are involved are prosecuted.”

Lineburg said he and South Boston Police will be looking at the video surveillance on Monday. “I think they [the police] know who they are looking for,” said Lineburg, adding, “Luckily no one was killed, but again, this is completely unacceptable.

A HCHS student with knowledge of the incident but who asked not to be identified said, “Yes, I know they were playing football on the field before it happened.”

A coach at the high school said, “They are playing at night and they know how to flip the breaker on to access the lights on the field.”

By Saturday morning, the gates to the stadium were locked — shutting out morning exercise enthusiasts who have had access to the track for walking and jogging throughout the entire pandemic.

In a media release issued on Sunday, the South Boston Police Department reported that Officer J. Butler heard gunshots while on patrol in the Centerville area shortly before 10 p.m. Within a few minutes, a call came into the Halifax E911 Center reporting shots fired at the football stadium adjacent to the middle school. Officers arrived and found a gray 2003 Honda four-door sedan that appeared to have been struck twice by gunfire.

Following his arrest, the teenage suspect was taken before a juvenile intake officer who lodged juvenile petitions on attempted wounding and firearms counts. The male was transported to W.W. Moore Juvenile Detention Facility in Danville where he was held awaiting a court appearance on these charges.

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So I got to say several things. When something like this happens at 10 pm everyone should be charged with trespassing. And the lights on, I think they cost around $50 an hour, who pays, me and you. Something like this just ruins things for anyone walking the track or the road for exercise. Don't take that away from us! Finally another gun in the hands of a punk kid. The CA needs to start making examples of this kind of punk activity. There are many residential houses in the range of those bullets.


Additionally, if there were adults with them or helped to organize an unauthorized 7 on 7 game...those adults should be charged with trespassing, hit with a fine for the lights, and lifetime ban from school grounds.

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