Local News

Hundreds gather to support injured Cape Fear student

Posted October 26, 2011

— Students and parents carried signs and candles as they walked across the campus of Cape Fear High School Wednesday night in support of a 15-year-old student who was shot in the neck on Monday.

Catilyn Abercrombie was standing in the breezeway outside the school’s cafeteria when she was shot, police said.

She underwent surgery Monday night, but her condition worsened Tuesday. She was placed on a ventilator to help her breathe, and at last check, she was listed in critical condition but has been moved from Cape Fear Valley Medical Center to an undisclosed location.

About 200 people participated in Wednesday's walk, which started at the library across from Cape Fear High and continued to the nearby Mac Williams Middle School and back. A prayer circle followed. 

Cape Fear senior Kealani Kahele said the gathering was a way to let Abercrombie and her family know that "there are people out here praying for her and wanting stuff to get better." 

Mat Gosskofp doesn't know Abercrombie, but he graduated from Cape Fear High and has a daughter attending the school. He wanted to show support for the school's administration and Abercrombie's family.

"I hope it makes them feel good that there's so many people out here to support them and are praying for them," he said. 

Some students at the vigil said they remain uneasy. 

"Walking to lunch is kind of scary because that's where it happened," Kahele said. 

Many students wore pink on Wednesday to honor Abercrombie, and they plan to wear baby blue on Thursday.

abercrombie vigil Vigil supports Cape Fear High student

Two other Cape Fear High students were arrested Monday night and charged in the shooting.

A 15-year-old is charged with attempted first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. He was in custody in the Cumberland County Juvenile Detention Center. He will face a juvenile court hearing sometime in the next week, but no decision has been made on whether to try him as an adult.

Ta'Von McLaurin, 18, of 1408 Rhone St. in Fayetteville, is charged with felonious aiding and abetting. He made his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon and is being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $280,000 secured bond.

Authorities have said that they don't think Abercrombie was the intended target, but investigators haven't yet determined the motive for the shooting.


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  • heelsgirl05 Oct 27, 2011

    I am glad to see that most people here agree on not protecting the shooter's identity. He has nearly killed somebody and DESERVES public shame. A little embarassment would not hurt the kid.

  • DAR-Patriot Oct 27, 2011

    I would hope he would be charged as an adult. You do an adult crime you get an adult penalty. Also, that way the juvenile privacy silliness goes out the window. I can understand to some extent protecting juveniles identities from some crimes...there is the potential for them to grow, mature and still be a functioning adult. With a serious crime like this, however, I think the person has gone to far and needs to be prosecuted as an adult.

  • SouthernGirlJD Oct 27, 2011

    onyourheels---they need to start making examples out of these criminals. i guess we'll have to pay for the trial since we already know who did this.


  • sewell1234 Oct 27, 2011

    I think, if the shooter was big an bad to take the gun to school an to pull the triger, he also can be big an bad to have his name an pic posted up, He did what he did it so now he haves to pay for it dont matter if he is under age or not...he shoot her....now he must pay send him to jail....so he will know not play with guns....an send who ever gave him then gun also done people know 15 yrs dont need a gun or they dont need to play with a gun.......my prayers are with her an her family , friends.....i pray everday for this lil girl to come back home....i hope an pray she will get better.

  • onyourheels2 Oct 27, 2011

    they need to start making examples out of these criminals. i guess we'll have to pay for the trial since we already know who did this.

  • pax2U Oct 27, 2011

    I agree uncfan89. The public NEEDS to know who the shooter is. The juvenile privacy laws are out of touch and need reform. We're not talking about skipping school or smoking pot here, we're talking public safety and VIOLENCE. The identity of those alleged to have committed a violent act should not be shielded because of age.

  • westernwake1 Oct 27, 2011

    My best wishes and prayers for this young lady and her family for a swift recovery.

  • uncfan89 Oct 27, 2011

    Prayers for this girl and her family. I think that if the victim who is 15 can be identified then the shooter should also be identified. I know he is a juvenile but if he thought he was big and bad enough to bring a gun to school and pull the triger then he should be big enough to have his picture posted all over the news also. Definately should be treated as an adult.

  • UNC PH.d Oct 27, 2011

    Eightball, true there are a lot of school shootings across the country, more so than people probably realize, but it's often in places like NY, Pittsburg, Miami, Detriot, etc. Mass shootings like Columbine have been extremely rare.

    What hp277 meant that you wouldn't expect it in a place like Fayetteville. However, when you have a school with a high urban population student body, the campus crime rate is often higher. Take a Durham city school versus a Johnston county city school, different student makeup, different crime rates. This stuff has been studied, the county school boards have the data.

  • Eightball Oct 27, 2011

    "You just don't expect to send your kid to school and have something like this happen."....ever hear of Columbine? It happens all the time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shooting