17-year-old’s father says son didn’t know Heritage High student who shot him, but court papers show they had fought earlier

Southeast Region

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — New details are emerging in a shooting at a high school in Newport News.

We are hearing from the father of one of the teens wounded during last week’s double shooting at Heritage High School.

Students remain in virtual learning for now, with no firm date on when they will get back to in-person classes. Administrators made the decision after a 15-year-old student allegedly shot and injured two 17-year-old students on Sept. 20.

The father of the 17-year-old male student, who we are not identifying, reached out to 10 On Your Side to tell his son’s side of the story.  He talked about how his son is going through a lot right now. The father claimed his son has told him he did not know the 15-year-old accused in the shooting, but it is clear according to court documents they had a physical fight in the hall before the shooting. 

One week ago, Monday, everything changed at Heritage High School Newport News. 10 On Your Side met the 17-year-old shooting victim at his home. His finger is badly mangled from a gunshot.

His father said his son is hurt physically and mentally.

“He’s really hurt and it hurts me to see him hurt, and to go through that at 17 years old,” the father said. “My son [laid] in that hallway bleeding, calling me, called for his mother, called his girlfriend, called his sister.” 

He laid there on the ground and bloody, 

“Think about how you get shot in the back of head and leg and finger, and he’s calling everyone on the phone ‘Where is the staff? Where are the police?’ Where are the people who are supposed to be there for our kids?” the father said.

I remember what he said.

“He said ‘Dad security is not helping me. He is standing right here, but he is not helping me’ and then he tells me he left him I said ‘He left you?’ ‘He left me,’” the father recounted.

The father would not go into details of what happened because of the criminal investigation, but he’s concerned with a lack of security and this keeps gnawing at the father.

“How did a 15-year-old get a weapon on campus? I just want the community to know we need our kids in a safer environment when it comes to their going to school. They say they have metal detectors, but they don’t use them, and they should use them. There is a lot going on in the world for them not to use metal detectors. We got to take care of our kids,” he said.

The father is also disappointed no one has really reached out to him.

“I have been told nothing. No one has reached out to us, and has not told us anything,” he said.

He also talked about his son’s nightmares.

“He wakes up in the middle of the night screaming for me ‘Daddy where are you at?’ I say ‘I’m right here son,’ and he says ‘Don’t leave me dad, don’t leave me, please don’t leave me,’ and I say ‘Son I’m not going anywhere. I’m not going to leave you this time,’” he said. 

The father also says the only one-on-one conversation he’s had with anyone is with a teacher.

“The one person I have seen is the teacher who said my son saved his life,” he said. 

Late Tuesday afternoon, Newport News school division spokesperson Michelle Price texted 10 On Your Side. 

The text read: “I am referring you to the Newport News Police Department as the investigation is still underway. The school division is continuing to support our students, families, and staff impacted by this incident.”

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