Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – There was a disturbing shooting incident at Carolina Forest High School on Friday involving an autistic teen and the school’s resource officer. On Friday morning 15-year-old Trevor Varinecz asked to speak with resource officer, Marcus Rhodes. The two went inside his office and shut the door. Teachers described hearing shouting from inside the office and when they entered, witnessed Varinecz attacking Rhodes with a large knife. Rhodes was stabbed multiple times and in self-defense, returned fire hitting Varinecz multiple times. Both of them were taken to Conway Medical Center where Varinecz was pronounced dead, and Rhodes was later released. Rhodes has been been an employee of the Horry County Police Department for almost ten years. Neighbor’s say Varinecz wasn’t a trouble maker, but rather a functioning autistic teenager whose parents integrated him into normal activities. No word on why Varinecz wanted to talk to Rhodes, or how the altercation started.
This is the second death at this high school with the last few years. Back in 2006, Friday’s incident marks the second time in three years a Carolina Forest High School student has died in a violent incident on the school’s campus. In June 2006, 18-year-old Natalia Holmes was stabbed 15 times and run over by a vehicle by her estranged boyfriend in the school’s parking lot.
The teen had two knives on him. The officer was able to get one away from him, but was then attacked with the other. Of course, the NAACP weighed in: “There are serious questions that must be aggressively investigated,” the NAACP said in its statement. “Was the officer trained in the techniques to work with individuals with autism, or mental illness? Did the officer use all available means to contain the situation without using deadly force? Should school resource officers be allowed to carry guns in schools?”
Trevor’s mother told reporters, “he was a wonderful boy. We can’t understand what happened… He was not violent, he was never violent. We just don’t know what he was thinking.” She went on to say that Trevor was finding it very difficult to make friends.
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