School bus hit by gunfire during shootout, police say

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are investigating a shooting that may have struck a school bus window Thursday morning.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A gun battle broke out between two men at a Citgo gas station around 7:30 Thursday morning near Plaza Midwood.

The gas station sits at the intersection of The Plaza and Parkwood on the Plaza Midwood neighborhood line.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say it appears the two men had an argument, which lead to both of them pulling their guns and firing recklessly at each other at the busy intersection. All of it was caught on the gas station’s surveillance cameras.

Police say one bullet struck a parked car and another hit a passing school bus headed for Charlotte Lab School. The bullet shattered the window just behind the driver. School officials say 19 kids were on board the bus, in grades K-6. They say two suffered minor scratches from the shattered glass, but that everyone is OK.

Thursday school officials notified all parents of the incident and said any student riding a bus this afternoon participated in a group discussion with the school’s counselors.

“We feel incredibly lucky that everyone in our community is safe, and we are so grateful for the community support shown to our students, families, and school in the wake of today’s incident. Sadly, this incident is just one of many gun-related and senseless acts of violence that occur throughout our city and country on a daily basis and certainly raises our awareness of the need for real solutions that will keep all children safe,” said Mary Moss Brown, who is head of Charlotte Lab School.

The shooting also shook up residents in the area.

"Complete shock. Just fear," said Jennifer McGettigan, who lives in Plaza Midwood, just two blocks away from where the shooting happened.

"I usually run right around the intersection at 7:45 in the morning. Luckily today, I overslept a little bit," said McGettigan.

“We have to be intentional about making sure we keep these guns off the streets, specifically in the wrong hands,” said CMPD Captain, Torri Tellis.

CMPD says they’ve been approved to hire 125 more officers but says even with additional patrols it will be impossible to have an officer at every street corner.

“There’s got to be a place in time where people start taking responsibility for their actions. Two grown men exchanging gunfire in broad daylight in a busy area like that? How in the world do police get out in front of something like that?,” said Rob Tufano, spokesperson for CMPD.

Police say the two men fled the scene. Police are asking anyone with information that could lead to police to them to come forward. The anonymous tip line is 704-334-1600.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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