One man was apparently grazed by a bullet in a drive-by shooting Tuesday night in eastern Winston-Salem, Winston-Salem police said Wednesday.
Terrick Jujuan Staten, 29, was sitting in his car at an apartment complex in the 1100 block of East Second Street when someone, began shooting at him, according to Lt. Greg Dorn.
One of the bullets apparently grazed the man’s neck, though Dorn said the injury could have also been caused by broken glass. The wound was minor, Dorn said.
The man wasn’t sure if the shooter fired from a white car or a black car. He also said there could have been two cars from which people were shooting, according to Dorn. Police have no suspects.
Dorn said the man didn’t know why he was shot at, and it’s unclear if he was the intended target.
There have been at least three drive-by shootings in Winston-Salem since Saturday, with four people injured in the shootings.
Two people were injured Monday night in a drive-by shooting in the 1800 block of Longview Drive. Police said 25-year-old Josiah Davis of Kernersville and 22-year-old Alfredo Saldierna, were standing in the road outside Saldierna’s house when a car pulled up to the home and someone opened fire.
Both men were reported to be in stable condition at an area hospital that night.
On Saturday, a 51-year-old man was shot in the foot in an apparent drive-by shooting while he sat on his porch at the Tara Court Apartment complex in southeast Winston-Salem. Police have no suspects in that investigation, either.
Anyone with information about these shootings should contact Winston-Salem police at 336-773-7700 or Crime Stoppers at 336-727-2800.
Fewer Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools received failing grades this year than last school year, according to the scores released Wednesday by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
For the 2018-19 school year, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools had eight schools that received a school-performance grade of F, compared with 11 schools in 2017-18. The schools are Ashley Academy for Cultural & Global Studies with a grade-level proficiency composite score of 22.8; Easton Elementary, 23.5; Ibraham Elementary, 24.3; Kimberley Park Elementary, 20.7; Old Town Elementary, 30.4; Petree Elementary, 22.5; Philo-Hill Magnet Academy, 18.2; and Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy, 18.0.
The school system had seven schools that received an A in 2018-19, compared with six the previous year. Atkins High School had a composite score of 78.3, the highest of the system’s high schools, followed by Reagan High School at 71.8.
The other schools with an A were all elementary schools — Clemmons, 86.6; Lewisville, 86.8; Meadowlark, 87.8; Sherwood Forest, 87.0; and Whitaker, 87.8.
In addition, both Early College of Forsyth County and Middle College of Forsyth County retained an A from the previous year. The Early College had a 2018-19 composite score of 56.3 and the Middle College had a score of 87.4.
There were 27 schools in the school system that exceeded expected growth, 29 that met expected growth and 13 that did not meet expected growth.
Although Middle Fork Elementary School was under Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools for 2017-18, it is now a lab school called Appalachian Academy at Middle Fork and is run by Appalachian State University’s Department of Education. It received a D for 2018-19 with a composite score of 27.2.
The school-performance grade is calculated using achievement scores and growth. For high schools, other measures such as ACT scores and graduation rates are also considered in the calculation.
Statewide, North Carolina schools showed some improvement, with more schools meeting or exceeding expectations for student growth, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction said in a news release.
When comparing Forsyth County Schools’ 2018-19 four-year graduation rate with other large metro-area school systems — Cumberland County Schools, Durham Public Schools, Guilford County Schools, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Wake County Schools — the local school system comes in at No. 3 at 86.2. This is the percentage of students who have graduated in four years or less after entering ninth grade. In terms of the percent of students scoring at or above grade-level proficient, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools also ranked third at 55.7 compared with the same group of metro school systems.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools said in a news release that while much of the data indicates flat results, there have been increases in all areas of state-mandated accountability factors.
“I am excited by the positive outcomes evidenced by the 2018-19 data,” said Superintendent Angela P. Hairston, who is in the first week of her job. “I am ready to continue the work of the district in hopes of even better future achievement.”
Local school officials discussed the scores during a news conference Wednesday at Cook Literacy Model School, which has shown significant improvement, jumping to a grade of D in 2018-19 from an F the previous year and exceeding expected growth with a composite score of 34.6. The school restarted at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year with a new staff and curriculum.
Andy Kraft, the school system’s chief accountability officer, spoke of how school officials are proud of Cook’s progress.
“Before this restart happened, this was the lowest elementary school in the state of North Carolina,” Kraft said. “It was not one of the lowest, it was the lowest elementary school in the state of North Carolina, and it no longer is.”
As for the overall 2018-19 school performance grades, Kraft said there are more A’s and B’s than the previous year and fewer D’s and F’s.
“That’s a good thing,” he said. “That’s a sign that we’re moving in the right direction.”
He said more schools exceeded expected growth than previously and there was a huge increase in 2018-19 in proficiency.
As Hairston begins the superintendent’s job, she has outlined several areas of focus, including learning about the history and current direction of the school system, developing an instructional plan that will set the course for the next five years, and assessing organizational effectiveness and efficiency to ensure high performance and support to schools.
“Small changes in a large district can take time,” she said. “However, when it comes to the success of children, I feel an urgency to find the right changes to make as soon as possible to ensure the best outcomes for our students.”
Hairston plans to provide several opportunities, starting later this month, for community members to hear about her entry plan and give input on the direction of the school system.
A 15-year-old student at Mount Tabor High School took a .22 caliber revolver to school in his backpack Wednesday, Winston-Salem Police Department said.
The police department’s school resource unit worked with school administrators to find the gun, police said in a news release.
Police said the student never displayed the firearm. The student had not made any threats to other students or school staff that police are aware of.
Police are charging the student with possession of a firearm on an educational property and possession of a firearm by a minor.
Brent Campbell, a spokesman for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, said he can not comment on student discipline investigations when asked if the school was placed on lockdown during the incident, and about who alerted authorities to the presence of a gun on campus. Campbell said all information would need to come from police.
Police said Wednesday afternoon they weren’t releasing any more information.
During the spring, police investigated three different incidents involving guns on campus or threats to students at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools.
Police arrested Sarah Melissa Wilson, then a language-arts teacher at Paisley Magnet School, in May on charges of aiding a minor to possess a firearm on educational property. Police said a student told Wilson about the gun and gave it to her. Wilson then stored the gun in the classroom for the student, and returned it at the end of the school day, police said.
Police charged two students at Paisley for possessing the gun on campus after video surfaced of one student appearing to show the gun at the school.
On May 13, police found a handgun in a student’s backpack at Northwest Middle School. Police said the student made no direct threats to students or staff. Police sought to charge the juvenile for possession of the firearm.
On May 14, Winston-Salem police, along with the FBI, investigated threatening social media posts made toward students at Reynolds High School. At least one of the threats was made on Snapchat and showed two guns and threatening language. The threats originated from out of state, police said.
Police said anyone with information should contact the police department at 336-773-7700 or Crime Stoppers at 336-727-2800.
The hearing to determine whether to release 911 recordings in a fatal shooting at Hanes Mall has been moved to Monday afternoon.
Judge David Hall of Forsyth Superior Court was scheduled to hear the matter Thursday morning. Instead, he will hear it at 2 p.m. Monday in Courtroom 6A in the Forsyth County Hall of Justice.
The Winston-Salem Journal and three other news organizations — WXII, WFMY and WGHP — filed a motion to overturn a signed order signed by Hall to seal five 911 recordings made in connection with the fatal shooting of Julius Randolph “Juice” Sampson Jr., a 32-year-old married father of three who worked at the Supreme Legacy Barbershop in Hanes Mall. Under state law, 911 recordings are generally public record.
Winston-Salem police officers were called to a report of a shooting at 3:41 p.m. Aug. 6, outside BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse at Hanes Mall. Officers found Sampson lying in the parking lot.
Police said Sampson and Robert Anthony Granato, 22, of Cloverhurst Court, had an altercation inside the restaurant that spilled outside. Police said Granato shot Sampson, who died at the scene.
Granato is charged with felony murder and misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon while or after consuming alcohol.
Hall said in the order that he sealed the 911 recordings because making them public could jeopardize the ongoing investigation and hurt Granato’s chances at a fair trial. Authorities did release two 911 recordings after Hall’s order. Those recordings were from two women who wanted to make sure police were aware of the shooting. A dispatcher tells the callers that police are on their way.
Winston-Salem police have released few details about the shooting. Race has emerged as an issue because people on social media have said that Granato, who is white, used a racial epithet at Sampson, who was black.
People also have pointed out a 2014 picture of Granato and a friend on Granato’s Instagram account. The two men are shown wearing shirts that say “Murica.” The two are holding up the OK hand signal. After 2017, that hand signal became increasingly associated with white supremacy, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson said in a news conference that investigators have not uncovered any evidence that the shooting was racially motivated, but she also said that both men used racial epithets.
She did not say what racial epithets the two men said or describe the circumstances around which those racial epithets were said.
A search warrant said that the restaurant had decided to stop serving alcohol to Granato and his friend, Landon Smith, who has not been charged in connection with the shooting. Restaurant managers also determined that Granato and Smith needed to leave.
The two men became belligerent to a female bartender who told them she would no longer be serving them alcohol. The altercation began when Sampson stepped in to defend the bartender.
The men got into a physical fight outside and Granato shot Sampson in the chest, according to the search warrant.
Attorneys for the Winston-Salem Journal and other media organizations argue that the process through which Hall signed the order was unconstitutional because the organizations were not notified of a hearing. The attorneys also object to what they call a gag order that applies to “all persons in possession of the above-referenced audio recordings and material until further hearing by this Court.”
Granato is in the Forsyth County Jail with no bond allowed on the murder charge. He is scheduled to appear in Forsyth District Court on Dec. 5.