Newport News’ Heritage High School Experiences a Shooting


Anjali Chinnareddy, Reporter

TRIGGER WARNING: This article talks about sensitive subject matters such as guns and shootings.

On the morning of September 20, 2021, Heritage High School in Newport News, Virginia suffered from a school shooting that resulted in four student injuries.

Four students were taken to the hospital, two of whom were shot. A 17-year old male was hit in the head and leg while a 17-year old female was struck in the leg. One of the students had asthma and was having trouble breathing while trying to escape. The final student had broken an arm, which was the result of many students rushing to leave and bombarding the exits.

The shooter is a 15-year-old student at Heritage High School. A school camera caught the 15-year-old boy walking with a large group when a fight broke out between him and the 17-year old male victim. Teachers ended up getting involved as soon as the fight commenced but soon the accused male reached into his backpack and pulled out a gun. He shot the male victim multiple times. The male victim was shot in his head and legs, and his fingers were also severely damaged, which might have been caused by the gunfire. The 17-year-old female victim was shot while on her way back from the cafeteria.

The 15-year old boy tried escaping by going through the gym and then ultimately fled the scene by going through the back door. He disposed of the gun by throwing it in a trash can, which school security guards found later. Police found out that the accused shooter was a part of an electronic monitoring program through the Newport News Juvenile Services. He was seen wearing his electronic monitoring bracelet in the security video.

According to Wavy News, the 15-year-old has been charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Other charges include underage possession of firearms, possession of firearms on school property, discharging a firearm in an occupied building, and reckless handling of a firearm. 

When asked about school shooting safety procedures, Briar Woods sophomore, Dianne Barahona-Bonilla, said how “students should be taking these drills seriously but instead they are just goofing off.” Another Briar Woods student, who wishes to remain anonymous, states that “[they] feel like schools should have better security to make sure that stuff like this doesn’t happen.” They also felt like “schools should pay more attention to the mental health of students.” According to the US Government Accountability Office, half of the school shootings that occurred were committed by current or former students. 

We urge all students to participate and be responsible while doing lockdown/intruder drills. By practicing, it will help students as well as staff to be prepared for dangerous situations.