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Community reacts to Mount Tabor High lockdown after one student shot and killed, accused shooter in custody, officials say

Churches like Centenary United Methodist Church and Elevation Church are showing support.

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools community is coming together after a student died following an incident at Mount Tabor High School Wednesday.

William Chavis Raynard Miller, Jr. has died from his injuries after being shot Wednesday, according to Forsyth County deputies.

Multiple schools were placed on lockdown including Speas Global Elementary School, Parkland High School and Mount Tabor High School.

Lockdowns have been lifted for Speas Global Elementary and Parkland High as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Churches like Centenary United Methodist Church and Elevation Church are showing support.

Centenary United Methodist Church will be open for prayer from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. The church is asking those who wish to take part in the event to enter the sanctuary through the 5th street entrance.

Elevation Church came out to Harris Teeter to hand out waters.

Officials with the church said many church members are students at Mount Tabor High.

Credit: WFMY News 2
Shooting reported at Mount Tabor High School

According to Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, officers responded to a disturbance near Harris Teeter on North Peace Haven Road in the search for a school shooter. 

The incident happened right around 12 noon Wednesday, according to officials.

Police said one student was shot on the school property. Officials were searching for the gunman for almost six hours. The suspect is now in custody as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office.

Miller was taken to a nearby hospital.

Investigators said Mount Tabor went on lockdown immediately after the shooting, and law enforcement started working to get students and staff out of the school as quickly and as safely as possible.

"We are so sad this happened in our city," Mayor Allen Joines said.

Investigators said the shooter was believed to be a Mount Tabor High student.

Parents like Holly Whittington were still awaiting to join their student(s).

"I heard all the sirens because I live right up the road," Whittington said. 

Her daughter attends Mount Tabor High School.

“She’s okay but yeah, she’s scared," Whittington said. "Police came in with dogs and made (students) all stick their hands in the air, and they all huddled in the dark in the corner, because they didn’t know where the shooter was.”

Shawveast Dudley said her son is a senior at Mount Tabor.

"I am just trying to get him right now," Dudley said around 3 p.m. Wednesday. "This is very nerve-racking. I’m just ready to get my kid."

She said parents were just anxious.

"People are trying to get their kids," Dudley said. "This is crazy."

Jimmie O’Brian said he witnessed the aftermath of the incident Wednesday.

O'Brian said he and his wife saw police cars before he decided to drive towards the school.

"We saw a dozen police cars drive by, which isn’t unusual," he said. "Within a minute we saw about 20 to 30 go by. I told my wife, I think something’s going on at one of these schools."

O'Brian said one of his family members works at the school.

"I have a niece who teaches here. I was fearful for her," he said. "I called her husband, called her sister, and let them know I was here and informed her of what was going on."

Brandon Moore said he has a niece and nephew who attend Mount Tabor.

"My niece texted me saying there was an active shooter situation," Moore said. "It took about 15 minutes to get up here."

He recalled the moment he drove up to the scene nearby the school.

"I was nervous, nervous for the other parents don’t know what’s going on out here," Moore said. "There were a lot of people running."

Community members could be seen praying near the school Wednesday.

"We pray for the families right now," the prayer leader said. "We thank you God for keeping our children."

The prayer leader said the group was praying for peace and for unity.

"Bring our babies home to us safe," she said. "Not only today God, but the rest of this year God."

Union Baptist Church held a prayer service for Mount Tabor High School Wednesday night.

Youth Minister Ahmad Francis gave words of encouragement during the virtual prayer service.

“It’s important for kids to understand how to be led in times of calamity and times of trouble,” Francis said.

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