Local News

13-Year-Old Charged in School Bus Shooting

Posted November 30, 1998

— A 17-year-old Warren County High School student is in good condition after a shotgun blast shattered her bus window Tuesday afternoon and sent glass into her eye.

"I just saw a whole bunch of glass fly by, and I just grabbed my eye. I didn't know what happened," said victim Cynthia Alston.

"She was sitting between the third or fourth or fifth seat on the bus, and a pellet went through the window, and more pellets hit the bus," said Warren County Sheriff Johnny Williams.

Investigators have charged a 13-year-old boy with assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting injury. The sheriff says there could be more charges filed.

Investigators say they have no idea why the boy fired upon the bus. His cousin, Dalton Williams, says the boy had talked about shooting at the bus three weeks prior to the incident.

"He said something like 'I'm going to shoot that bus. I don't like that bus anyway. I don't like the bus driver' or something like that. The next thing I know, he came in here yesterday and fired on the bus three times," Dalton Williams said. "I didn't think he would do that."

The young man is from Virginia, but he does have family in this area. He is not enrolled in school here, and he is being held in Butner.

The sheriff believes the boy was standing along the roadside with a shotgun in a wooded area.

The shotgun was a gift from the boy's uncle and was intended for use when hunting. He took the shotgun over to his cousin's house and said he was going hunting.

The cousin then heard three shots outside. Investigators say the suspect fired on a school bus, and apparently, that school bus was carrying 10 high school students and 17 middle school students.

Williams says school Bus No. 140 was traveling its normal route along a rural county road when the shooting occurred.

"This is something that is unfortunate for our school district and our community, because it is a very quiet community," said Warren County School Superintendent Carlinda Purcell.

The bus has been locked away in a garage, impounded as evidence.

Crisis counselors were at the high school Wednesday to help students deal with the shooting of Alston. and Todd Hauer

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