NC shooting victim changed to critical condition

AP News
Posted: Oct 25, 2011 6:30 PM
NC shooting victim changed to critical condition

The 15-year-old girl injured in a shooting at her North Carolina high school was downgraded from stable to critical condition on Tuesday, police said.

Catilyn Abercrombie is being treated at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, according to Cumberland County police spokeswoman Debbie Tanna. Detectives learned of the change in her condition when they visited the facility Tuesday.

Abercrombie is using a ventilator to breathe and may require a second surgery to repair the damage from the bullet, Tanna said.

A young woman who answered the phone at Abercrombie's home hung up when reached by The Associated Press. Abercrombie's mother could not be reached for comment, and relatives in Louisiana did not return calls seeking comment.

Abercrombie was shot in the neck during a lunch period Monday. Police arrested two teenagers after viewing surveillance video at the school.

One is a 15-year-old who faces charges of attempted first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. His name has not been released because of his age, and a court date hasn't been set for him yet.

The other, 18-year-old Ta'Von McLaurin, was assigned a public defender at a brief hearing Tuesday. That lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment.

McLaurin is charged with felony aiding and abetting.

Surveillance video showed the two carrying a rifle inside Cape Fear High School, Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler said.

Butler said investigators don't think Abercrombie was the intended target, but no motive had been established.

"Why did they shoot? I don't know," Butler said.

The high school and nearby Mac Williams Middle School were locked down for hours before students were allowed to go home.

Classes resumed at both schools Tuesday. Butler said additional deputies were at the school to help students and parents feel confident about their safety. The high school has metal detectors, but Butler said he didn't know whether they're in daily use.

Reached at her home, McLaurin's mother, Tammy, said when asked about her son, "He's fine. I don't really want to talk about it." She then hung up the phone and her line rang unanswered.