Heritage High School shooting captured on surveillance footage; court records describe injuries and aftermath

·4 min read

Surveillance footage at Heritage High School captured the shooting that left two students wounded Monday morning, according to court records filed this week in Newport News Circuit Court.

As the 15-year-old suspect walked down the school’s main hallway, he pulled his black backpack “to the front side of his body,” unzipped it and reached inside, a search warrant affidavit said.

The next camera angle, the affidavit said, picks up the teen “walking in a large group of students,” when a fight breaks out. A teacher moved to break it up.

But then “the suspect pulls a firearm from the area of his waistband and points it at (another student) and begins shooting multiple times,” an affidavit said.

Two students were struck.

One victim, 17 years old, fell to the ground, while the shooter dropped his backpack and ran down the hallway, according to an affidavit.

“Surveillance cameras captured the path that the suspect took” on his way out of the school building, an affidavit said, adding that the shooter’s “multi-colored socks” helped him stand out.

“The suspect ran south through the school towards the gymnasium,” then out an outside door and out of view of the camera.

The 17-year-old boy had a large bullet wound behind his left ear, with that bullet lodging in his lower left jaw, an affidavit said. He was also shot in the left leg, with that bullet lodged in his buttocks.

Moreover, the boy “had severe damage to his right middle finger that appeared to have been struck by gunfire as well.”

That teen was able to speak to detectives in his hospital room at Riverside Regional Medical Center. He told them he was leaving the school cafeteria when a student he didn’t know came up to him, began fighting, then pulled out a gun and shot him.

The victim was later transferred from Riverside to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital, “where he is expected to recover from his injuries,” an affidavit said.

Though that teen told police he didn’t know the shooter, Police Chief Steve Drew said at a news conference on Monday that the shooting appears targeted. Police also said the students were known to each other.

A second Heritage High student, a 17-year-old girl, also was shot — in the lower left shin.

She told police she had just left the cafeteria and was walking down the hallway when she heard gunshots before being struck.

The affidavit said the bullet “appeared to have passed straight through her leg with minimal damage.”

Detectives searched the backpack the shooter dropped. The affidavits said they found two papers inside with a particular student’s name written on them.

Detectives also got a tip that the shooter threw the gun into a trash can on his way out of the building. A detective tracked that path, and found a firearm in the trash, an affidavit said.

An affidavit also said the 15-year-old suspect was wearing an electronic ankle monitor, devices that courts often mandate to track defendants on probation. The device’s GPS tracker showed the teen was inside the school at the time of the shooting, an affidavit said.

A Heritage High teacher told police he is a student in her fifth-period class.

Though he attended the first part of the class, she said, he left for lunch at 11:05 a.m.

Two students in that class wear electronic monitoring ankle bracelets, she said, but the other student returned to class before the shooting just after 11:30 a.m.

The affidavits say the surveillance footage “clearly” shows the shooter with an ankle monitor at the time.

The 15-year-old faces two counts of aggravated malicious wounding — a crime punishable by life in prison. He also faces nine gun charges, to include seven felonies and two misdemeanors.

His name was not immediately released, and was redacted from the Circuit Court affidavits because of his age.

The list of items police seized under the search warrants include DNA swabs and fingerprints from the suspect; a black “Outdoor Products” backpack; a three-ring binder with paper; medical records; and GPS data from the ankle monitoring system.

Peter Dujardin, 757-247-4749, pdujardin@dailypress.com

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