“On November 11, 2014 about 0800 hours the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officers responded to George E. Washington Elementary School in reference to a report of a student possibly having a handgun on the school bus. SRO Lt. Royce Thompson along with additional School Resource Officers responded to the location and instituted their safety lock down procedures. The original information was that the 11 year old elementary student had been in possession of a handgun on the school bus. It was alleged that he had possibly thrown the gun out of the window of the school bus in close proximity to a local business in Greenville, Georgia. The reported student was secured by School Administrative Personnel and SRO Deputies. At that time a search was conducted in accordance with the information received and a small caliber handgun was located in the elementary student’s book bag.” Sheriff Chuck Smith said.
“We began to interview the witnesses in this matter and it was revealed that the student had allegedly made threats toward another student on the school bus. This information was not revealed until after the interviews were conducted. There was no immediate outcry of this occurring to the bus driver or any other school personnel until the students arrived at the school. It was at that time that some of the students informed school personnel that they saw the student with a gun. The student in which the threat was made got up and changed seats.” Sheriff Smith advised.
“The student that was in possession of the handgun was taken into custody immediately upon our School Resource Officers and School Personnel receiving this information. This matter was addressed with urgency on all of our behalf. The juvenile has been detained in a youth detention facility and has been charged with the offenses of Aggravated Assault 1 count, and Carrying a Weapon within a School Safety Zone, 1 count at this time.” Sheriff Smith said.
“I commend our Meriwether County School Resource Officers, Meriwether County Sheriff’s Deputies George E. Washington School Administrative Personnel, and the students who came forward to provide this information. This matter was handled swiftly and we were able to secure the juvenile and the weapon without any incident. The School Safety Plan Procedures were put in place and we handled the matter in accordance to our training and procedures. This matter is still under investigation and we are tracing how this juvenile came to be in possession of the handgun.” Sheriff Smith stated.
If further contact is requested regarding this matter, contact Sheriff Chuck Smith at (706) 672-6638.