Gun used in deadly Butler High School shooting was stolen, police say

Image 1 of 2

Jatwan Cuffie (left) is charged in the killing of his schoolmate, Bobby McKeithen (right).

The gun used in the deadly shooting at Butler High School Monday morning was stolen out of Gaston County, according to Matthews police.

Officers say they performed a trace search of the .380 pistol through ATF and found the gun was stolen from a car in August. Police did not say who was responsible for stealing the gun.

Bobby McKeithen, 16, was shot once in the torso inside the halls of Butler High by a fellow student following a fight, authorities say. The sophomore was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The other student involved, Jatwan Cuffie, has been charged with first-degree murder in McKeithen's killing. He appeared in court Tuesday. Cuffie will remain in jail until his bond hearing on November 7.

Authorities have said bullying played a factor in the shooting. Members of McKeithen's family spoke to FOX 46 Tuesday, disputing the claims that he was a bully and saying that the entire incident should never have happened.

"I just feel like with the amount of students, and I know that we have a shortage of police officers in the community, and I understand that, but I mean we have all this North Carolina lottery why haven't we had metal detectors in the school? I mean, there's only so much these officers can do," Bobby's father said. "We have to get to the point where as a community, as a state, as a nation, what do we do to address this gun problem and save our children?"'

LINK: “My son lost his life over foolishness.” Family of Bobby McKeithen speak following shooting

Bobby's mother, Ashley Mewborn, described the frantic moments following the shooting at the school.

"A friend of ours called and said he heard Bobby got shot. So I started calling the school, no answer. I called them [the school] all the way there. Then I started calling 911 to see if they had gotten a call about Bobby being shot. They told me no. Then the phone hung up so I had to call back and then the other operator told me no and then they connected me to Matthews Police. They said they had gotten a call but they couldn't tell me anything, " Mewborn said. "In that time me driving to school because I couldn't find out anything I could have been to the hospital with him because that's where he was. So I get to the school and I can't get into the school because everything is blocked off and I'm having to hear things from other children. I couldn't get any information. I could have seen him. I feel like I could have seen him. At least one last time." 

Hordes of parents rushed to Butler when they heard about the shooting. Parents had to wait at Elevation Church near the school before they could get to their children, which many said was frustrating. The parents say they felt left in the dark for much of the morning.

CMS Superintendent Dr. Wilcox said there was a 'communication mishap' of getting information out to the parents. He also admitted that from one perspective, "[CMS] failed."

Many parents were questioning Monday was the lack of metal detectors at CMS. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney made the recommendation for metal detectors in schools to CMS earlier this year. The district announced a $9 million security upgrade to strengthen security at its 175 schools. Metal detectors were not included.

"We don't actively search every bag that comes into school each and every day," Wilcox said. "I can't promise miracles, but I can promise that we'll move heaven and earth to keep our kids safe."

The district closed school Tuesday in order to allow students and staff time to process what had happened.

A vigil was held Monday evening to remember 16-year-old Bobby McKeithen. A GoFundMe account has been started for his burial expenses.