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NC community college locked down Thursday after visitor to campus shot himself in the hand

(Photo: Forsyth Technical Community College)

Students were released from Forsyth Technical Community College’s campus Thursday afternoon after a lockdown that followed reports of a shooting.

Winston-Salem Police said the shooting was reported at around 10:10 a.m. and students were on lockdown for about two hours.

Among them was Early College of Forsyth County tenth grader Adrienne Williams. She says she was in her English class when she was alerted to the threat.

"Right before we were about to leave, we, our assistant principal comes running through the halls saying hey, active shooter alert besides like, just told us get into classrooms and they start pushing everyone who was like, not in a class, anyone, anyone in the hallway," she said.

Parents and guardians of students were directed to the nearby Armory, home to the North Carolina Army National Guard’s readiness center, where 50 or more of them gathered to wait for more news while their children were interviewed by police.

Students began being released from buildings on campus shortly after 12:30 p.m. Davian Hernandez says it was a challenging situation.

"I tried to be calm most of the time and tried to help others that were sad, crying and all that stuff," he said, "Praying for them and always just trying to stay calm, trying to be the one people can look at and you know, just stay calm."

At a press conference later in the afternoon, Captain Shelly Lovejoy told reporters there was never an “active shooter situation.”

“We did identify one victim that is was transported to a local facility for treatment of a non life threatening injury. This is an active investigation. We're still trying to determine exactly how we came to be at Forsyth Tech and what generated this particular situation.”

At least two nearby school districts were on the community college campus Thursday for a trip, and a police report shows that one of them – 18-year-old Shannon Pitts – was carrying a gun and shot himself in the hand. Nobody else was hurt.

Pitts is charged with two counts of carrying a weapon on school property and one charge of carrying a concealed weapon. His bond was set at $25,000.

Forsyth Tech classes on all campuses are canceled through the end of the week.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to