MATTHEWS, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The teenager accused in the shooting death of a fellow classmate at Butler High School in Matthews gave a statement to police the day he was arrested explaining that "he didn't want to do it."
Jatwan Cuffie, 16, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 16-year-old Bobby McKeithen.
Matthews police said McKeithen was shot in the halls of Butler High School around 7:10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 29 just as school was set to begin.
According to the police report, Student Resource Officer C. Young notified Matthews police dispatch that there were shots fired inside the high school. As officers arrived on scene, Jatwan Cuffie was taken into custody without incident and Bobby McKeithen was transported to CMC Main where he tragically died.
Once in police custody, 16-year-old Jatwan Cuffie waived his rights and provided a statement to police, detailing what transpired.
Statement from the Mecklenburg County Arrest Processing Center - Oct. 29, 2018:
"Jatwan Cuffie stated that he was in an altercation this past Friday in the Harris Tetter parking lot near Margaret Wallace and Idlewild Road. He stated that he and his friend (Demonte) were fighting two other males (Lucas and Jaylyn) when a third male (AJ) jumped in and struck Jatwan in the back of the head. Jatwan said his friend (Demonte) jumped in to help him out when one of the other two male subjects (Lucas) pulled out a knife. Jatwan said he and his friend ran away.
Jatwan said that one of the guys (Jaylyn) in the fight called him over the weekend and told him that it was a good fight. He said he asked him if he thought he had won the fight against Lucas and he said he didn't know. Jatwan said he told Jaylyn to call Bobby because he saw everything and see who he thought won. Bobby indicated that he thought Lucas beat Jatwan.
Jatwan texted Bobby saying he only thought that because he was with the other guys. Jatwan said Bobby said who is going to check me about it and Jatwan said he was.
Jatwan said that AJ called him over the weekend wanting to meet back up at the Harris Teeter to fight again. Jatwan said he was trying to avoid the situation. Jatwan said on Sunday he was thinking he couldn't fight in school. Jatwan said he texted AJ and said bro do we have a problem. AJ responded with do you still have a problem with me. Jatwan said he wasn't trippin any more.
Three hours later Jatwan got a text from a friend stating that AJ was still going to try and fight him on Monday. Jatwan said he was planning on minding his own business. This morning Jatwan received a text from a friend asking if he had beef with Bobby too. Jatwan said he didn't text back.
Jatwan said Friday after the fight AJ said he was going to get him at school. Jatwan said this morning before he left for school he went to the woods to get his gun for protection. Jatwan said he had the gun in his jacket pocket when he went to the bus stop. Jatwan said he was praying that they wouldn't mess with him.
Jatwan said when he got to school he stood in the corner in the hallway. He saw Bobby walk past him in the hallway. He said he dapped with a friend then he saw Bobby come up on his left side and Bobby punched him in the left side of his face. Jatwan put his arm up to protect himself and he grabbed the gun from his pocket and he shot Bobby one time.
He said Bobby continued to fight him and he was trying to push him off. The gun was hanging on Bobby's jacket so he grabbed it. Jatwan said he didn't see any blood so he thought he missed Bobby. Jatwan said he was going to shoot again to scare Bobby but he ran and said forget it.
Jatwan ran into a classroom and told his ninth grade math teacher that he didn't want to do it. She asked him where the gun was and he told her in his book bag and she moved the bag away from him. Jatwan said shortly after that police arrived."
The suspect, Jatwan Cuffie, is scheduled for a probable cause hearing on November 19.