NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The teen suspect in last year’s Heritage High School shooting in Newport News pleaded guilty to malicious wounding and firearms charges on Friday.
15-year-old Jacari Taylor pleaded guilty to malicious wounding, felony use of a firearm, possessing a firearm on school property and discharging a firearm on school property.
Taylor didn’t say much in court aside from acknowledging the charges against him and admitting that he’s guilty. When asked if he had a statement he’d like to provide or if he had any questions he responded “no.”
Court documents show Taylor got into a fight with a 17-year-old during lunch, back in September. Taylor was punched in the face during the fight, and then police say he pulled out a gun and shot several times into a busy hallway.
A history teacher who witnessed the fight tried to break it up until he saw Taylor pull a gun and told the 17-year-old boy to run.
A 17-year-old boy and girl were struck and wounded. The 17-year-old boy’s father says he has permanent injuries, including hearing loss, and the family plans to seek legal action.
Taylor’s family declined to comment Friday. Taylor is set to receive his sentence on Aug. 5 after a judge reviews the school’s video surveillance video and victim impact statements. The judge will also review Taylor’s social history along with a pre-investigation report.
This shooting spurred school leaders to upgrade security, including the use of metal detectors, in several different ways.