The shooting at Butler comes at a time when school shootings, like the Parkland shooting in Florida, have been increasingly prevalent and calls for increased gun control have escalated in the public dialogue and on college campuses.
In February, dozens of UNC students demonstrated in front of Wilson Library to protest following the shooting that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.Then in early April, students held UNC's Rally For Our Lives, where hundreds of people heard survivors of the shooting speak about their experiences.
Yet, unlike the Parkland shooting, the shooting at Butler struck a chord with UNC senior and Butler High School graduate Bryanna Patterson.
“I was like, ‘A school shooting?’ That sounds so crazy for the community that it’s in and the people that go there,” she said.
While no one had ever been killed by a gun in Butler High School before Monday, Butler graduate and Appalachian State University first-year Jenna Larcara was one of the students supporting the gun control movement that escalated after the Parkland shooting. She said the students faced resistance from administration.
“We were told that if we were to walk out on National Walkout Day in support of banning guns and things like that, we would get detention and get in trouble,” Larcara said.
Larcara said she is frustrated to see someone get shot at her high school when she had seen fellow students punished for fighting for stricter gun control laws in the past.
“It’s so contradicting, because they say that we should care for these things and then we get in trouble for trying to stand up for exactly what happened to our school just a year later,” she said.
Patterson said the incident could have been avoided, and she feels bad for both students involved.
“One boy lost his life, and another boy is pretty much losing his life as well to the prison system,” she said. “I think that it’s important for parents to do a better job of speaking out to their kids and finding out what’s wrong with them.”
At a Monday news conference, Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Clayton Wilcox said the district will review their security and possibly implement “things that are a little more aggressive."
“There are always steps that could have been taken to prevent a tragedy, and in the future we need to do things to prevent this from happening again, but I don’t know what we could’ve done to stop it,” Alford said.
Echoing this sentiment, George Cherian, whose son and daughter both go to Butler, said people need to stop blaming the school and guns and rather focus on where the shooter got the weapon.
“He could’ve brought a knife to school, he could’ve brought brass knuckles, he could’ve brought anything,” he said. "The thing is, maybe he had access to a gun because a family member had it so that’s why we need to backtrack and see where he got the gun and deal with the base issue.”
Alford said she is grateful to have two days off from school to process and recover.
“I’ll see news reports about the Butler shooting, and I’m like, 'Wow that’s me, that’s my classmate, that’s my school, and my safety and my friends,'” she said. “It’s not real. It doesn’t make any sense.”