CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) Thursday was a violent morning in a Chesterfield neighborhood, as two 17-year-olds opened fire on each other, right in front of a school bus packed with students.
The shots rang out on Mallard Landing Circle, where one of the teenagers died instantly.
The surviving suspect was transported to VCU Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He remains hospitalized in critical, but stable condition.
Raynique Smith was in class when she learned her classmate was involved in a fatal shooting.
“Words can’t explain the feelings I had hearing about it,” she told 8News Reporter Matthew McClellan. “I was 30 minutes away from the hospital, but it took me no time to get there.”
Smith’s friend, a 17-year-old student at L.C. Bird High School, was in a battle for his life. The news spread quickly among classmates.
“It was students crying, and people leaving,” said another classmate who asked to remain anonymous.
Police said around 8 a.m. at Mallard Cove Apartments, the teenager and Chase Harris, also 17, were involved in a drug deal when they began fighting. The teens shot at each other. Harris was killed. The other suspect was injured and laid bleeding on the ground in front of the parked school bus as eyewitnesses rushed to his aid.
“Words can’t explain the feelings I had hearing about it.” –Raynique Smith
Medics rushed the teenager to the hospital. Due to his age, 8News is not identifying him.
“I’m so glad he pulled through,” Smith said of her friend. She and others said their classmate plays football at Bird High and has ambitions to play in college. Teammates flocked to social media, posting well wishes for their friend’s recovery.
“He’s very kind, just a polite person to be around,” said Jasmine Patrick, a senior at LC Bird. “Everybody knows him.”
The news of a fight turning deadly sent shock waves throughout the school.
“Violence is nothing he’s ever done before,” Smith said. “It’s nothing I’ve ever heard him do. He’s not that type of person.”
8News reached out Harris’ family, who were too grief-stricken to talk about the teenager. Harris was taking classes at Carver College & Career Academy.
Meanwhile, the survivor’s friends are left to sort out the complicated feelings of devastation and relief.
“I hope everything goes back to normal,” said Smith.
Police continue to investigate the circumstances of the shooting, but at this point it appears to be an isolated incident. Police are not looking for additional suspects.