GREENSBORO, N.C. — Authorities say a Virginia man found with two guns in a North Carolina high school Monday had a handwritten note that appears to be a hit list, reported NBC News.

Steve Spence, 29, of Norfolk, Virginia, was safely taken into custody after a brief confrontation.

Virginia Beach police say Spence assaulted his girlfriend before driving her car to North Carolina. Subsequently, Greensboro police say Spence entered the Smith High School cafeteria Monday and was questioned by employees, who called for a lockdown.

A school resource officer confronted Spence. The officer said he saw Spence was armed, adding that when Spence tried to run, he was able to arrest him following a brief foot pursuit.

A stolen vehicle was also located that contained another weapon, officials said.

According to court documents, “Mr. Spence spontaneously uttered he had arrived at Smith High School to kill two different people.”

Furthermore, police said Spence had written directions of his intentions to kill a total of five people.

Police believe Spence’s intended targets at the school were people with whom he had a personal relationship.

Spence is facing multiple charges in connection to Monday’s incident, including two counts of attempted murder, weapons on school campus, resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer, going armed to terror of public, and trespassing, reported WXII12.

hit list

Steve Spence was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder, weapons on school campus, resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer, going armed to terror of public, and trespassing. (Greensboro Police Department)

He is also wanted on several charges in Virginia, including assault on a family member, grand larceny of a motor vehicle, grand larceny stolen property and strangling another causing wound or injury.

Spence appeared in court Tuesday afternoon via video conferencing. The judge ordered a mental health evaluation and appointed a public defender to his case.

Spence’s bond remains at $2 million bond but could face extradition back to Virginia.

Investigators said Spence fled to North Carolina to carry out his hit list after “brutally” beating his girlfriend in Virginia Beach, causing her to be hospitalized for her injuries.

Spence has also committed other serious, domestic-related crimes in North Carolina and Virginia since 2011, and is considered a flight risk, according to court documents.

The following information was shared with parents of Smith High School students Monday night from the Guilford County School superintendent:

This afternoon, thanks to the quick action of Smith High School staff and the SRO, an armed intruder was discovered and the school was immediately placed on lockdown. The intruder was then apprehended by the Greensboro Police Department.

We are deeply grateful that all students and staff were unharmed, and that no shots were fired today. We want to thank school leaders, staff, students, the Smith SRO and the Greensboro Police Department for handling the situation quickly and appropriately. Everyone did what they are trained to do, and their quick and effective communications and actions today saved lives and prevented a tragedy from occurring. We also want to thank the parents for their patience during this difficult situation.

Let us all be reminded that if we see something, we say something. Continue to practice drills, crisis protocols and be aware of your surroundings. This will help us ensure that our students and campuses remain as safe as possible.


The investigation is ongoing at this time.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000 or text tips to 274637, using the keyword badboyz.