Lake student in custody for possession of gun

By DEMETRIUS THOMPSON,

Lake Middle School was placed on lockdown on Friday morning after a student was found with a firearm on campus.

Scott County Sheriff Mike Lee said a female student alerted a teacher that she had seen what looked like a handgun in a male eighth grader’s book bag. The teacher contacted one of the district’s two school resource officers who arrived at the campus around 11 a.m.

“The school went on lockdown and they were able to go from there to isolate the bag where the student had the gun,” Lee said.

Lee said that after questioning the 14-year old student, they learned that he had snuck the 9-millimeter handgun, which belonged to his stepfather, out of his home that morning. Lee said the incident had resulted from a previous altercation with another student and that the suspect brought the gun to the campus to scare the other student. Lee said the gun’s magazine was loaded but a bullet was not in the chamber.

Lee also said there had been a lot of misinformation spread on social media about the student having a “hit list” and he wanted to debunk those claims.

“There was absolutely none of that. The boy was questioned, and we wanted to make sure that we knew everything that was going on in the case, he was being bullied, anything that would have maybe caused this incident and might put others at risk,” Lee said.

The boy is being charged with possession of a firearm on school grounds and will not be charged as an adult. He is being held at the Rankin County Detention facility and was expected on Tuesday to go before a judge who would decide if he would be transported back to Scott County.

Scott County School District Superintendent Tony McGee said this was the first time during his tenure that a student had ever brought a fire arm to a campus in the district and that he was proud of how LMS Principal Nancy Butler, her staff and the students handled the incident. 

“Our people did a tremendous job with that, not just our staff, but our students also, of handling the situation and following proper protocol,” McGee said. “Mrs. (Nancy) Butler did a tremendous job of working with her teachers and staff to make sure we had a positive outcome. We do training with our staff throughout the school year, usually at the beginning of the school year to try to ready our people for those types of situations if they do come about.”

Butler said that school plans to give further information to students on how to respond in case of a firearm on campus in the coming weeks.

“Our staff and students have been trained, but we’re just going to reemphasize some things. That’s what kept this from being a worse situation than it was, because a student was brave enough to inform us to make sure the situation was brought to light,” Butler said.

“Everything was very calm and very smooth, and there was no pandemonium and we’re very thankful that it went the way it went. We’ve learned from other situations how to keep these children safe. And I commend my students for being as well-mannered and behaved as they were. I’m very proud of them.”

The name of the student is not being released because he is being charged as a juvenile.

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