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15-year-old suspect in Heritage High School shooting pleads guilty on six counts, faces maximum sentence of 65 years

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Posted at 10:48 AM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 17:30:16-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The suspect in the September 2021 shooting at Heritage High School that left two students wounded pleaded guilty to six counts relating to his role in the shooting.

Jacari Marques Taylor, who was a student at Heritage High at the time of the shooting, was charged with two counts of malicious wounding, two counts of felony use of a firearm, possessing a firearm on school property and discharging a firearm on school property.

The charges carry an absolute maximum of 65 years in prison.

The shooting happened on September 20, 2021.

Two teens were shot: One of the victims, a 17-year-old boy, was shot in the side of face, and the other was a 17-year-old girl who was shot in the lower leg, police said, adding that neither sustained what are considered life-threatening injuries.

Two other students were hurt, with their injuries related to evacuating the school. Police said that these students' injuries were also not considered to be life-threatening.

According to court documents, surveillance footage from inside the school shows a fight between two males that resulted in the shooting.

The Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney said Taylor gave a statement to police admitting to bringing a gun to school, firing it, putting it in a trash can and dropping his hoodie and backpack into a ditch.

During Taylor's interview with police, Taylor admitted to being involved in the fight. The documents say Taylor said the other boy involved punched him in the face before he pulled out his gun.

Taylor admitted he continued to fire even after the victim tried to run away because he said, "I didn't think I hit him."

Taylor told police there were “one hundred something” people in the hallway at the time.

Taylor's next court date will be August 5 at 9 a.m., when he will be sentenced.

This is a developing story.