Police: Salem HS student died from self-inflicted gunshot wound

Police say the boy died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the Virginia Beach school

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Virginia Beach Police said a student found dead at Salem High School on Thursday morning died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In a message just sent out to parents and students, Principal Matt Delaney said he appreciated parents understanding why school officials could not share more on Thursday, due to the active police investigation.

A crisis team and additional counselors are in the school on Friday.

Students said the mood in the school was sad and somber.

"It was very gloomy and the atmosphere was very heavy considering yesterday's events," said Sophomore, Rachel Pulley. 

Friday, she said one wanted to go near the bathroom where the shooting occurred. 

"It's boarded up and you can't enter it. They had a light on in there. So it's not dark in there," said Pulley. "People keep leaving flowers and such there."

While the question of "Why?" is striking many people, another question is "How?". Pulley had concerns a gun was carried into the school. 

"It's supposed to be safe," said Pulley. "There shouldn't be guns and weapons inside the building. That's supposed to be your home away from home."

A spokesperson for Virginia Beach Public Schools says Salem High School does not have metal detectors in place, but there is an armed resource officer on the premises at all times.

A security review is expected, but the school district says it is standard policy to constantly review security practices.

Here is Principal Delaney's full statement to parents:

Good morning Salem High School parents. This is principal Matt Delaney calling to reassure you that our students and staff are working diligently to keep the focus on instruction today. Several students have taken the opportunity to meet with counselors and other students are being encouraged to share their feelings as needed.

 

I do want to let you know that as a result of the police investigation, officers have now confirmed to us that the student’s death was due to an intentional act committed by the victim, and was the result of a gunshot wound. We have no reason to believe that the student had any intent to harm others. However, as you know, we have safety measures in place for these types of incidents and placed our school on lockdown yesterday. Our school remains a safe place for our students to learn and grow.

 

While I know this information may be unsettling, I want you hear it from me rather than through the media. And, I appreciate your understanding that we could not share more information with you yesterday during the active police investigation. We love your children as our own and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety.

 

Thank you for your understanding and your continued thoughts and prayers for the vitim's family and our Salem High School family.

School Safety Statement From VBCPS Superintendent by 13News Now on Scribd

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