MATTHEWS, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The teenager accused in the shooting death of a fellow classmate at Butler High School gave a statement to police the day he was arrested, saying that "he didn't want to do it," according to court documents.
"We're shocked. I think that's the word. We're just shocked,” said Teresa Townsend, a neighbor of the suspect, 16-year-old Jatwan Cuffie.
She couldn't believe that Cuffie is accused of shooting and killing his classmate Monday morning.
"It's not the young man that was always willing to help, always speaking, always offering to help each one of these neighbors right here,” Townsend said.
She says she's known the Cuffie family for two years, since they moved into the neighborhood off of Margaret Wallace Rd.
According to court documents, Cuffie told police it all started with a fist fight last Friday.
The victim, Bobby McKeithen, wasn't in the fight, but was there to watch and call the winner, saying that Cuffie had lost, according to the report.
The fight continued through phone calls and text messages over the weekend and Cuffie said he brought his gun to school for protection, according to his statement to police.
He was standing in the hallway at Butler High just before class started when Cuffie says the victim punched him in the face and Cuffie shot him once, according to court documents.
Cuffie then ran to his ninth grade math teacher and she took the gun from him, according to the report.
It’s a story Townsend says is out of character for him.
"He always made a point if he saw you to speak and to help. He really did,” she said.