North Carolina

Gunman in NC school cafeteria had a ‘hit list’ and a ‘mission’, warrant says

Steve Brantley Spence, 29
Steve Brantley Spence, 29 Guilford County

The armed man found on a high school campus in Greensboro, North Carolina had a note detailing his “mission” and a “hit list” with plans to kill at least five people, according to the Greensboro News & Record.

Police arrested Steve Brantley Spence, 29, after a school employee found him with a gun in the cafeteria at Smith High School Monday, Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott said Monday. Scott said the man ran from a school resource officer as the school went on lockdown.

Police arrested Spence after a foot chase and no shots were fired, Scott said during a Monday press conference broadcast live on WFMY.

When they arrested Spence, of Norfolk, Virginia, police found a note detailing his “mission” and a “hit list” of people to kill in North Carolina and another state, Fox8 reports.

When police arrested Spence he had two loaded handguns, a rifle and a backpack with eight boxes of ammunition, along with a stolen Mercedes Benz, according to Fox8.

Spence drove to North Carolina after assaulting his girlfriend in Virginia Beach, according to WAVY, a local news station in Virginia. The girlfriend had to be hospitalized from her injuries, the station reports.

Police said Spence showed up at the school to target someone he had a “personal relationship” with, according the the News & Record.

The newspaper reported the “hit list” note included the words “Kill Denisha.”

Based on the list, as reported by the News & Record, Spence would drive to North Carolina, “kill a woman and her parents” in Durham and then move on to Smith High School in Greensboro to “kill two people” there. He then planned to drive to Maryland and kill one more person, the newspaper reports.

No murders similar to the one in Spence’s note appear in media reports from the Durham area in recent days.

During a court hearing Tuesday for Spence, he told a judge, “Jeremiah is screaming in my head,” according to the Virginian-Pilot newspaper. “I just need help,” he told the judge, who “ordered a mental health evaluation” and gave Spence a public defender, the newspaper reported.

Spence was an assistant football coach at a high school in Norfolk, Virginia, according to the Virginian-Pilot, but he resigned in October.

Spence played football while in high school in Norfolk, the newspaper reported, and then played for the East Carolina University Pirates while attending the school in Greenville, North Carolina, 2007 to 2010, according to the school.

Spence faces two counts of attempted murder, having a weapon on educational property, resisting a police officer and several other charges in Greensboro, according to the News & Record. He faces several charges related to domestic assault and stealing a car in Virginia, the Virginian-Pilot reports.

He’s being held in Guilford County jail on a $1 million bond, according to the News & Record.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.