WEST POINT — A student who allegedly had an unloaded BB gun at West Point Elementary School on Friday has been charged by West Point police.
Two students were suspended from school over the incident pending the outcome of the investigation, according to officials at the West Point Police Department. The second student allegedly knew about the gun and didn’t report it, according to police. School system officials only confirmed one student suspended.
Sgt. Tunya Brown, one of the responding officers and public information officer, said she was notified by school officials about the incident about 2–2:30 p.m. Friday, just as school was getting ready to let out for the day.
According to Brown, school officials were trying to make contact with the parents of the two children involved in the incident.
“Last Friday, Sept. 11, we received a report from one student that another student possibly had a gun in his book bag,” said Yolanda Stephen, director of public relations for Troup County School System. “At that point, school officials removed the child from class and called the police department. That’s how the incident started.”
Brown said police investigated and found a standard Daisy BB gun in the possession of the 11 year old. She said no pellets were inside the weapon.
“The book bag was searched,” Stephen confirmed. “School officials did not touch (the gun) — what we considered at the time a toy gun — because they didn’t want to impede on any evidence. … It was a BB gun. It was unloaded.”
Brown said no one knew about the gun until a teacher was notified.
“No one was in any danger at all,” Brown said.
When the student was questioned by police, he acknowledged the BB gun belonged to him, but denied bringing the BB gun to school, stated Brown. Instead he allegedly told officers someone else, another student, brought it on campus and was returning the gun to him.
West Point police officials said they only charged the 11-year-old student who claimed the BB gun and had it in his backpack. Brown said he was charged with carrying weapons within a school safety zone, at school functions or on school property.
According to Brown, the charge will be filed with the juvenile court.
The students’ names were not released because they are juveniles.
Both students were released into their parents’ custody.
If a weapon is found on a school campus, it is standard procedure for school officials to notify their local police department, stated Brown.
Melanie Ruberti and James Morton are reporters at LaGrange Daily News. They may be reached at 706-884-7311.