MATTHEWS, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Matthews Police have said that bullying was not a factor in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old at Butler High School last week.
In the days following the shooting, there was speculation from CMS officials, students and parents that the shooting was the result of an ongoing issue with bullying.
During a press conference, CMS Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox said the incident started as bullying that escalated out of control.
At a Board of Education meeting on Oct. 30, member Sean Slain also made mention that more anti-bullying programs could be coming.
“Bullying is a real issue. Social media has amplified things you see and hear and you feel a thousand times," Slain said.
Following an investigation, police now say that there was no indication of bullying between the victim, Bobby McKeithen, and the accused shooter, Jatwan Cuffie, and that the conflict instead related back to an incident at a Harris Teeter parking lot.
"At this point, we have uncovered no information that supports a claim of bullying in the typical sense of the word," police said in a statement.
You can view the Matthews Police Department's full statement below:
This investigation is still ongoing and there is much more work to be done before we are prepared to deliver the case to the prosecutors, however, at this point, we have uncovered no information that supports a claim of bullying in the typical sense of the word.
What we know is this stems from an ongoing conflict between our suspect and the victim relating back to an event at the Harris Teeter parking lot. It is unfair to either party involved in this investigation to prematurely identify a cause before we have had the time to run down all the information.