It was lunchtime on Monday at Smith High School in Greensboro when a lunch monitor noticed someone in the cafeteria who didn’t belong, police said.
The school employee approached the man and asked why the man was there.
“After a short exchange, the individual brandished a handgun – raised the shirt to show a handgun and made some requests that immediately alerted the school official that obviously there is a problem,” Scott said.
The school employee “acted quickly” radioing for a lockdown of the school and moving students out of the cafeteria. Police did not identify the employee.
While the cafeteria was evacuating, Scott said the man walked back to the courtyard area of the school where he had entered the cafeteria.
A school resource officer was alerted.
“In less than a minute, the SRO was in the courtyard and confronted this individual where the individual pulled two handguns out, one in either hand,” Scott said.
The man then ran away across the high school campus, chased by the officer.
More officers arrived shortly after, Scott said, “and we were able to apprehend the subject on the edge of school property near the driveway near the tennis courts.”
Steve Brantley Spence, of Norfolk, Va. was arrested at the school.
Scott said he was “very pleased to say” that Spence did not fire his guns and Greensboro police did not fire their weapons either.
Spence was tasered to “bring the subject under control and make the arrest,” Scott said.
When police searched Spence, they found a loaded 9mm handgun, a loaded .45 caliber handgun, spare magazines and a backpack “containing 8 boxes of bullets,” Scott said.
Spence arrived on campus in a stolen car “with an additional long gun in it.”
“We’re investigating how all this began,” Scott said. He saidSpence was involved in a felony assault of a woman in Virginia Beach, Va. earlier the same day and stole her car.
“It looks like he drove directly to Smith High School,” Scott said.
Guilford County Schools posted on its social media accounts on Monday that the lockdown had been lifted and all students remained in classrooms and were safe.
“We want to thank school leaders, staff, students and the Greensboro Police Department for handling the situation quickly and appropriately. We also want to thank our parents for your concern and continued support of Smith High School,” the school system wrote.
Police said they do not think Spence was targeting Smith High School students, but instead may have been targeting adults he is connected to and who may have been at the school on Monday, according to Fox 8.