GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A school resource officer (SRO) and a school employee serving as a monitor are being credited for potentially preventing a school shooting.

  • Steven Spence, 29, entered Smith High School with two guns and ammunition.
  • Spence was stopped by a school monitor.
  • The school worker radioed for lockdown, and Spence was caught by the SRO after a short chase. 

Greensboro police say 29-year-old Steven Spence of Virginia, walked through the courtyard and into the Smith High School cafeteria a little after 1:30 Monday afternoon.



Police Chief Wayne Scott says Spence was heavily armed, carrying two guns and a backpack full of ammunition.

Spence was stopped by a school monitor who noticed someone who didn't appear to belong.

"The school employee approached this individual asked them what they were there for after a short exchange the individual brandished a handgun when he raised his shirt to show a handgun and made some request that immediate alerted the school official there was a problem,” said Scott.

The school worker immediately radioed for a lockdown and that's when police say Spence tried to get away, but was caught after a short chase by the SRO.

No shots were fired, but an officer did use a Taser on him. Investigators believe he showed up looking for a school employee he had a personal relationship with.

Chief Wayne Scott says authorities in Virginia were already looking for him.

Investigators there say he violently assaulted a woman earlier Monday, then took her car and drove to North Carolina.

Greensboro police found the car within walking distance of Smith High School. Inside the car, they found another long gun.