Teen pleads guilty in shooting at New Hanover High
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A teen charged with shooting a student at New Hanover High School last year pleaded guilty to two charges in the case Monday.
Chance Deablo pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and discharging a firearm on an educational property. He was sentenced to 48-70 months in prison. He also must get his GED while serving his sentence.
Deablo was 15 years old when he was arrested on Aug. 30, 2021, after shooting a student at the high school.
“What happened in this case was nothing more than community violence crossing the invisible barrier into the classroom, said District Attorney Ben David standing in-front of pictures of homicide victims in New Hanover County. “This is a case that could’ve been so much worse. This was not because of the mercy of the defendant but because of bad aim that we are not having someone else’s picture on the wall right behind me.”
In court Monday, state prosecutors provided additional insight into what lead up to the shooting. One week prior, Deablo had been suspended for fighting with another student. He then texted another person saying “[Expletive] is going to be different when I get back.”
Less than four hours after returning from his suspension, Deablo was involved in another fight and eventually fired three shots, hitting another student in the hand and leg. The 15-year-old student who was shot had surgery and is recovering.
David says Deablo was willing to accept responsibility of the shooting and plead guilty to the two charges.
“I take no delight in sentencing, in this case a 16-year-old, 15 at the time, to a prison cell for at least the next four years,” David said. “We tried to carefully balance the need to punish with looking at rehabilitation and we believe that today’s plea achieves both of those very difficult aims.”
In court, Assistant District Attorney Ashton Herring spoke about the impacts the shooting has left on the community, saying that students have been scared to come to school. Herring pointed out that some have brought weapons to defend themselves, while others have transferred schools or switched to homeschooling.
“We’ve seen some of the physical ramifications,” Herring said. “The trauma the kids have experienced, the nightmares that they have described to me, the hearing of fireworks and thinking that they were gunshots... I still don’t think we have fully understood how this will impact our community.”
Deablo was 15 at the time of the shooting. He will be at least 21 when he is released from prison.
Upon his arrest, Deablo was charged with:
- Attempted First Degree Murder
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury
- Possession of a Firearm on Educational Property
- Discharging a Firearm on Educational Property
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