Family of North Carolina student shot dead at school address death: report

The grieving parents of a North Carolina teen who died following a school shooting addressed the tragic death Tuesday morning, a local report said.

Bobby McKeithen spoke about his 16-year-old son, also named Bobby McKeithen, noting significant life moments they wouldn’t get to experience, Fox 46 Charlotte reported.

"I'm going to miss him going to the prom. I'm going to miss him going to graduation, college, you know all that stuff it got stopped because of ignorance,” the elder McKeithen said, adding that he had “remorse” for the suspect’s relatives “because they about to lose a child as well in the system.”

McKeithen’s son was allegedly shot and killed at Butler High School by a fellow classmate Monday after a fight that stemmed from “bullying that escalated out of control,” officials said. Jatwan Craig Cuffie, 16, the student accused of shooting McKeithen, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Jatwan Craig Cuffie, 16, was arrested after allegedly shooting Bobby McKeithen.

Jatwan Craig Cuffie, 16, was arrested after allegedly shooting Bobby McKeithen. (Matthews Police Department)

“And as fear took over a young person brought a gun to solve the problem,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said. “...There was no evidence that these two kids had anything in common in terms of beef that went on…at school.”


Wilcox would not comment further on the bullying, including which student was allegedly being picked on. In a statement obtained by Fox 46, the deceased teen’s family denied that he was a bully, saying “the stories and rumors” were false.

Ashley Mewborn, McKeithen’s mom, recalled how she first learned that her son was injured and that she attempted to get in touch with the school and authorities, Fox 46 reported.

"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,” Mewborn said. “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 struggled to get details and arrived to the high school only to find the area “blocked off,” she reportedly 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,” Mewborn said, according to Fox 46. “I couldn't get any information. I could have seen him. I feel like I could have seen him. At least one last time."


The elder McKeithen also discussed a lack of metal detectors at the high school and gun control, saying that “it’s bigger than the situation.”

"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," McKeithen said, according to Fox 46. "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?"

The superintendent confirmed that metal detectors are not in use in the schools.

"Someone asked me how could someone, especially a student, come onto one of our campuses with a loaded gun, and I wish I had an answer to that," Wilcox said. "There really is no easy answer. We do not have metal detectors in our schools. We do not search our students on the way into school. Our schools and students rely on cooperation between and among each other. And today, that simply wasn't enough."

Fox News’ Katherine Lam contributed to this report.