UPDATE: News 12 at 6 o' clock/ March 12, 2014
TALIAFERRO COUNTY, Ga.--Three teenagers are facing felony charges for allegedly passing around a gun at school. Monday, at Taliaferro County School, the Sheriff says a student brought a revolver to campus, passed it around, then got on the school bus with it. Deputies spent hours trying to find the weapon and who's responsible.
Taliaferro County Sheriff Marc Richards says, if it wasn't for a tip to the principal yesterday afternoon, they would have never known there was a weapon on campus.
Tuesday was a half day for students in Taliaferro County, but it was a rocky start to spring break.
"An employee with Taliaferro County School called and advised they had a gun on the bus," he said.
Jemessyan Foster, the Superintendent of Schools in Taliaferro County, says, "Immediately after notifying the Sheriff's Office, we had that bus turn around."
But, the students had already been dropped off by this point, and they couldn't find the gun on the bus. Investigators spent 12 hours questioning 5 or 6 witnesses and piecing together clues before they could track down the students responsible and the weapon.
"I asked him, 'Where's the gun at? Where's the gun that was at school today?' and he said, 'It's down the road just a little ways. Walk with me,'" the Sheriff explained.
The Sheriff says the teen stashed the gun in a shredded book bag in a water meter box. Fortunately, it wasn't loaded, and they didn't recover any bullets.
"Sometimes kids make bad decisions and with those decisions come some consequences. And, that's going to be what happens in this situation, however, we are very thankful the weapon was not used," Foster said.
The Sheriff and Superintendent met Wednesday to talk about the incident and come up with an action plan.
Sheriff Richards says, "We're glad no one got hurt, but we are going to take some corrective measures so this won't happen again."
Ironically, the school postponed an active shooter lockdown drill they were planning to practice Tuesday.
"Once we get back from our spring break, priority for us day one is going to be picking up with a plan we had in place for yesterday," Foster said.
There's also the question of how teachers didn't spot the gun, as kids played with it throughout the day, even bringing it out at the lunch table.
"We will be making sure that we keep our eyes open because the bottom line is that even if the kids are smart, we should not have missed that weapon going around the campus all day yesterday," Foster said.
The three students involved may not be the only ones facing charges. The Sheriff says he believes a convicted felon, Melvin Bolton, gave the student the gun before getting locked up on burglary charges. He will likely be charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
TALIAFERRO COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) - A 16-year-old facing charges today after allegedly passing a gun around school.
Taliaferro County School had half a day of school Tuesday. As they were being let out for Spring Break a student told the principal a gun had been in school all day and was being passed around a classroom and cafeteria, officials said.
Deputies went to the school and spoke with more than a dozen people. They identified the 16-year-old student who allegedly had the gun. That student took investigators to a home near his home and showed them where he hid the gun in the ground level water meter housing.
Investigators recovered a .32 caliber revolver and the bag it had been carried in. The gun was not loaded and there was no ammunition in the bag.
Officials say at this point the 16-year-old is being charged as a juvenile, but that might change. They also say to expect more arrests to come.