Local News

Eighth-Grader Stabbed at Cumberland County Middle School

Posted May 31, 1999

— More than a dozen students could only watch as a classmate was stabbed several times with a butcher knife in Fayetteville Tuesday morning. Apparently the fight started well off campus.

WRAL was told the rift between two girls started at a movie theatre over the weekend. It came to a climax at Reid Ross during a class change Tuesday morning.

Around 9:45 a.m., 13-year-old Clesha Gunther, an eighth-grader, was stabbed with a knife by a female classmate. She was cut or stabbed several times, including once in the lung.

Parents bringing their children to school a little late drove up to the school to find the campus surrounded in crime scene tape.

"I worry about him at home. When he's at school, I try not to worry, but you have to worry about him at home and school now a days," said parent Samuel Sanders.

Students were roaming the halls by noon, but all morning, they were kept inside classrooms. Some parents, including Billie McLain, came to pick up their children before normal activity resumed.

"What's going on with schools today? You just don't know what's going to happen, so it's better safe than sorry to bring her home," said McLain.

Investigators are not saying where the juvenile suspect got the knife, but Reid Ross student Kenneth Sanders says he thinks more should be done to make his school safe.

"I think we need more protection and more security and metal detectors in all the schools and stuff," said Sanders.

WRAL talked to the victim's father at the hospital Tuesday afternoon. He says his daughter is doing well. She is listed in stable condition.

Detectives do have a juvenile suspect in custody, but she has not yet been charged. They are not saying where she got the knife.


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