Community grieves after 13-year-old middle school student shot, killed in Red Springs area

Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 11:05 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2023 at 5:22 PM EDT
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ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WMBF) - A community and middle school in Robeson County are dealing with the tragic death of a student.

The Public Schools of Robeson County announced that 13-year-old Edgar Salinas Gonzalez was shot and killed on Tuesday. He was a 7th-grade student at St. Pauls Middle School.

Robeson County deputies responded to the shooting after 9 p.m. along Lapaz Drive in the Red Springs area. When they arrived, they found Gonzalez dead at the scene.

“We send our deepest condolences to Edgar’s family during this difficult time,” the school district said in a statement on Facebook. “... we also ask the community to keep Edgar’s teachers, classmates and school in their thoughts and prayers as they navigate this time of loss.”

St. Pauls Middle School also posted about Gonzalez’s death and that it will help the students, teachers and staff impacted by the tragedy.

“We are saddened by the news that one of our students passed away last night. Our prayers are with all of his family and friends. We will have a crisis team on campus today to offer support to any student or staff member who may need it. Thank you and continue to pray for our staff and students,” the school posted.

But now, parents at the school are left to talk to their kids about their classmate who lost his life.

“It’s hard. They’re trying to deal with everyday situations in school and with them finding out the situation with the child passing, it’s hard for them,” said parent Bessie Thompson.

Wanda McKoy, who has a grandchild at the middle school, said it’s important for children to know they can express their feelings and ask questions about the situation.

“I go home, I sit down with my grandkids and explain to them that we don’t know the circumstances or what happened to this young fella but if you’re going through something, talk to me, let me know how you’re feeling so we can help you,” McKoy said.

The investigation into Gonzalez’s death is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at 910-671-3100 or 910-671-3170.