Local News

Teacher, accused of shooting college student, suspended

Posted January 28, 2009 12:36 p.m. EST
Updated January 28, 2009 5:36 p.m. EST

— Wake County school officials have suspended a Longview School teacher accused of shooting a North Carolina Wesleyan College women's basketball player during a kidnapping attempt last week.

Greg Thomas, a Wake County Public School System spokesman said Wednesday that Dawn Perry, 44, was suspended with pay following the Jan. 18 incident, which began in a parking lot at the college.

Nash County Sheriff Dick Jenkins said Perry, of 659 Hodges Road, Franklinton, had driven to the school in Rocky Mount to see Jessica Perry, 18, a freshman player on the N.C. Wesleyan team.

At some point, the two argued, and Dawn Perry allegedly pressed a gun into Jessica Perry's side and forced her into her car and drove off.

Jenkins said Dawn Perry told investigators she was fumbling with the gun when it went off, shooting Jessica Perry in the leg. Dawn Perry then drove her to the hospital, where she was treated for injuries and later released.

Investigators said they are not sure what prompted the argument. The women are not related, but Jenkins said Jessica Perry told them the suspect is like a godmother to her.

Dawn Perry was charged with first-degree kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. She was out of jail Wednesday under a $40,000 bond.

Dawn Perry worked in the Franklin County Schools system for eight years and was a basketball coach at Terrell Lane Middle School in Louisburg while Jessica Perry played there, authorities said.

The Franklin Times reported Wednesday that while she worked for the school system, Dawn Perry was placed on administrative leave for a fight with a 16-year-old student.

She has been employed at Longview School, a special-needs middle and high school in Raleigh, since August 2007, the school system said.