Pinecrest High School was placed on lockdown Friday morning after a stabbing occurred in the auditorium parking lot.
“I can confirm a student was stabbed in a parking lot at Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines,” said Southern Pines Police Chief Nick Polidori.
The school was put on a modified lockdown after the stabbing that occurred around 8:30 a.m.
“This morning we had an incident in the auditorium parking lot prior to school starting,” said Pinecrest High School Principal Stefanie Phillips in a notification to parents. “Please know that all students are accounted for and safe. We are, however, in a modified lockdown. This means that students are in class with limited movement. Students cannot be checked out or leave school until the modified lockdown is lifted.”
The lockdown was lifted shortly after, with many parents signing their children out of school for the day.
“The suspect was immediately apprehended by our staff and School Police Officer,” said Phillips. “The perpetrator has been detained and the victim is receiving treatment.”
Officials said the isolated incident involved two students. The female victim, who is a junior, suffered critical injuries and required surgery after being stabbed several times. The suspect is charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, but authorities did not release a motive. Identities were not released due to their ages.
“Moore County Schools Critical Response Team, which consists of counselors and social workers from throughout the district, was immediately deployed to Pinecrest High School to provide additional support to the students and staff,” said the school district.
According to a GoFundMe page created by Erika Nickel on Saturday, the goal is to raise $75,000 for “life-saving treatments and rehabilitation” for the student.
Nickel wrote that the victim was airlifted to UNC for extensive treatment, and she “is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet, an excellent swimmer, and a diligent employee.”
A message from the family was written on the fundraiser page stating: “Our family is extremely grateful for all of the support that has come from the community in so many ways. There are no words to describe the gratitude we feel, just as there are no words to describe the tragedy that has happened to our family.
“Our sweet girl is still recovering in the hospital at this time. She has a long road ahead of her, but she is strong; she’s a fighter. I know it sounds cliche, but Avery truly is one of the kindest, best people I know. She is thoughtful, genuine, and loving. It’s so hard to see her struggling, scared, and in pain.
“Please gently remind your children that may see them in the schools that Avery’s siblings are also suffering from this horrific event. One of her sisters had to witness this happen. It will take a lot of time for our whole family to recover from this.
“We are also grateful for those who refrained from spreading misinformation and for those that tried to keep others from doing so. This is something no parent and no person should ever have to experience no matter their role or involvement.
“We will be eternally thankful for the kindness and generosity of this community, our friends, and our family. The donations that were so selflessly given have lifted a huge burden from our family during this difficult time.”
Community members gathered at Pinecrest Saturday morning for a prayer vigil. The small group prayed for all those involved and all those impacted. Prayers were also offered for healing and forgiveness.
Prom was held Saturday evening with metal detectors, bag searches, and school police officers on campus.
The stabbing occurred three days after a bomb threat was reported at New Century Middle School on Tuesday.
~Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel staff.