High school students set out to solve murder

Credit: NBC Charlotte

High school students set out to solve murder

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by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on April 26, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 26 at 8:34 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Recent tragedies in Newtown, Connecticut and in Boston were top of mind when learning took a unique twist at Olympic High School. Students solved a mock murder scene with the help of the District Attorney's Office and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

The classroom is actually a crime scene, and these students are investigating a murder with the help of Assistant DA, Clayton Jones.
 
"We had a victim who was shot in their apartment; they managed to make it to the hospital and died in the hospital. So, we have two crime scenes," said Jones.
 
At the "mock" hospital, students examine a "body" for bullet wounds and other clues looking as to how the victim died. Students say it gives them a whole new perspective on crime solving
 
"With all the evidence they have for us to collect, the blood on the floor, shoes, the victim, wounds on him, everything, even though it's not real it looks really realistic," said Olympic junior, Tiana Dunn.
 
With recent incidents like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and the tragedy in Boston, teachers say they wanted to bring in real professionals to show how it is done.
 
 "Just like the case with the Boston Marathon, we have been talking about that, we have been seeing some of the news clips," said science teacher, Jeanne Smith.
 
Students realize the challenges investigators face.
 
 "Trying to come up with a suspect when you don't have footage or don't know who they associate with,” said Dunn.
 
And see how different reality is from crime shows on television.
 
"What they need to convict, what could be used in court of law, it's not all fabulous. Everything goes exactly as it can and then wraps up in an hour," said Forensics teacher, Kristen Cassady.
 
Friday’s exercise was just a drill, but for these students it's a real-life lesson on the battle against crime.
 
"This applies to real life because it actually shows you, and you have the actual set-up and get to experience how they really do it," said Sophomore Cristina Lawson.
 
This is the first time the DA’s office and CMPD have teamed up with Olympic High School of Biotechnology, Health and Public Administration for a real in school mock crime scene.

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