Following Shooting at Lawrence Orr Elementary, CMS Looking for Answers to Secure Drop Off Zones

CHARLOTTE, NC- The Superintendent for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools says he’s “at a loss” when it comes to preventing domestic disputes from spilling over into school parking lots. The comments come after shots were fired in the drop off zone of Lawrence Orr Elementary school Monday morning.

A month into the new school year and there have been two shootings in elementary school parking lots. The first happening on August 30th at Villa Heights Elementary.

“As a parent, it’s always in the back of your head,” said Carlos Guardiola.

He was dropping off his children this morning shortly after the gunfire. He says the school staff used the loudspeaker to alert parents of the lockdown.

“It seemed like they were in a rush to get the kids inside,” said Guardiola.

According to police, a suspect fired at a person in another vehicle as they left the school after dropping off a child.

“A known person got out of another car and attempted to shoot several times at this individual leaving,” said Lt. Brad Koch with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.

No one was hurt. Police are still looking for the suspect.

In August, police say Delmond Cunningham fired at the mother of his child as she was dropping them off at school. No one was hurt and Cunningham was arrested.

“We’ve got to do something to help people understand that schools have got to be sanctuaries,” said Dr. Clayton Wilcox, the Superintendent of CMS, “they can’t be a place where you continue on your domestic dispute.”

Wilcox says they’ve talked about ways to secure the school drop off areas, but so far, they have come up empty.

“We’re going to continue to focus on access to our building, we’re going to focus on who we let into the building. But in terms of the campus itself, I’m not sure what we can do,” said Wilcox.

Wilcox says the school system has added cameras to common areas and parking lots in some schools, but he admits those are reactionary forms of security. He says they may look into adding adults to the drop off zones to supervise.