3 children, 1 adult treated for rabies exposure after fox attack

Three children and an adult are being treated for rabies exposure after a fox attacked them on two school campuses in southwest Charlotte on Tuesday.

The fox bit an 11-year-old girl as she watched football practice at Kennedy Middle School on Gallant Lane off Arrowood Road Extension, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.

The same animal is suspected of biting two children at Primrose School of Lake Wylie on West Arrowood Road earlier in the day, police said.

The adult was scratched at Kennedy Middle as he tried to fend off the fox, said Melissa Knicely, spokeswoman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care & Control Division

A state lab confirmed the fox tested positive for rabies, Knicely said Thursday.

Officers found the fox beneath the metal bleachers. When officers tried to capture the animal, the fox tried to attack them, police said. Officer Trevor Bourque then shot and killed the fox.

Bourque was working off-duty near the school when he heard the call for service and responded to assist. He used a shotgun to kill the fox, not his service weapon, police said.

As with any officer-involved shooting, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division will conduct an internal investigation into the shooting.

Mecklenburg County has had 15 positive rabies cases this year, including nine raccoons, two bats, three foxes and a skunk, Knicely said.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak