04/19/2007

N.C. high school student shoots self after he is confronted by police

The Associated Press

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — A teenager shot and killed himself Wednesday shortly after pointing a handgun at two other students in a high school parking lot, police said.

Schools in Huntersville were locked down after 16-year-old Josh Emerson Cook made threatening gestures in a parking lot at North Mecklenburg High School, police said.

Cook, who attended the school, turned the gun on himself when police confronted him at a gas station, said Capt. Michael Kee of the Huntersville Police Department. He later died, said Tahira Stalbert, a spokeswoman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Police alerted four schools after the student left the high school's campus, Kee said.

"We put every school in the area on immediate lockdown in light of everything that's gone on in the world lately," Kee said, referring to the fatal shootings of 33 people at Virginia Tech. "We erred on the side of caution."

Cook, who was shot in the head, was taken to Carolinas Medical Center, Kee said.

School officials planned to have counselors available to North Mecklenburg students Thursday, Stalbert said. The school also will have a larger security presence, she said.

Families in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district were to receive automated phone messages about the situation, Stalbert said.

In Eugene, Ore., police arrested a 15-year-old Willamette High School sophomore on assorted charges Wednesday after a homemade bomb detonated in a hallway trash can. Police said damage was limited to the container.

And in Nashville, Tenn., a high school senior was charged with reckless endangerment after police said he walked down a school hallway yelling: "Y'all better check my backpack and locker. I've got a gun and a knife and I'm gonna do what they did up at Virginia Tech."

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Back to previous page