Eastern Carolina experts share mental health, gun safety tips after school shooting

Craven County, NC (WITN) – A Michigan school shooting killed and injured several people when authorities said a 15-year-old opened fire at a schoolhouse with a gun his father had recently purchased.

North Carolina law enforcement officials are reminding parents how important it is to lock up guns. They also advise parents to use tools such as fingerprint safes to store firearms.

“There are a number of different ways to secure a firearm in your residence, which are required by law, so that when there are minors, they do not have access to a loaded firearm,” Major David McFadden of Craven County Sheriff’s Office said.

McFadden also encourages the public to look out for and report warning signs of troubling behavior, as Michigan authorities found threats on social media before the shootings.

Mental health experts are echoing McFadden’s message and asking parents to take charge.

“I often find parents with this attitude, this ‘okay this is private.’ Well, no, it’s not really special because it’s your child and so you have to be involved and know what they’re looking at and what they’re involved in,” said Keith Hamm, mental health professional for Family Services integrated.

Hamm also encourages parents to keep the lines of communication open, especially if they notice behavioral changes.

“Some of the things to watch out for are the increased level of frustration and avoidance and children trying to isolate themselves,” Hamm said.

These signals could mean it’s time to sit down and talk, Hamm said.

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