Shooting near Greenville schools adds to safety concerns for parents

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) –An officer-involved shooting in Greenville, has parents concerned after a pair of schools had to be put on lockdown Wednesday.

Students at St. Peter Catholic School, burst out the school’s front doors Wednesday afternoon as their parents picked them up.

However, there was a point in the day where the school was put on a modified lockdown after police say an East Carolina University scientist, was shot in an unprovoked attack not far from St. Peter and Wahl-Coates Elementary School.

GPD says 38-year-old Savell Hightower, is the suspected gunman that fired at least five shots, leaving 27-year-old Andrew Readyoff wounded.

Police say the shooting happened on East Fifth Street on a sidewalk near Wahl-Coates that put the elementary school on an immediate lockdown.

WITN spoke with parents at the Town Common park, who have children that attend different schools in Greenville, as they say gun violence has to stop.

“You’re so used to seeing it on the news and in other areas but to see that happen this close to home being a father, it’s nerve-wracking,” said Greenville parent, Will Smith.

“As a parent having two boys going to school, I definitely don’t want to see that at all,” said Greenville parent, Juileon Alberino.

Police say the lockdowns at both schools were eventually lifted as Readyoff had non-life-threatening injuries and Hightower is now in custody.

Parents say the fear that comes over them when dropping their kids off nowadays is unbearable.

“If you have beef or issues with someone, don’t do it by a school,” Alberino said.

“At some point you have to kind of trust the school system and hope they’ll protect your kids,” Smith said. “They have stuff in place, but it’s just nerve-wracking to think people are shooting people over craziness.”