Northside weathers end-of-year BB gun incident

Published 8:29 pm Friday, June 9, 2017

Northside High School spent 20 minutes on lockdown Thursday after a pellet gun was found in a student’s bag.

Just after 2 p.m., a teacher spotted the realistic-looking gun in a student’s bag and notified authorities, according to Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Charlie Rose.

“The bag was open enough that the teacher saw what appeared to be the back of it, or a grip,” Rose said. “The teacher could see enough of it that they thought it was a weapon.”

According to Beaufort County Schools Superintendent Don Phipps, Principal Charles Clark searched the student’s bag and found an inoperable, unloaded bb gun. Phipps said though the school went into lockdown mode, no one was threatened or injured during the incident.

“After the principal took possession of the BB gun, the student became unruly and left the principal’s office and the building. The principal implemented lockdown procedures until the student could be secured,” Phipps wrote in an email.

The student’s name has not been released because he is a juvenile, Rose said. Phipps said there was no reason given as to why the young man had the pellet gun at school.

According to Rose, weapons making an appearance on school campuses is not so unusual.

“There’s been a good handful (this year). Fortunately, we haven’t had any incidents where there’s been a firearm in the school itself. There’s be a few incidents where a student has brought a firearm to school and it’s in the vehicle,” Rose said. “Many times, they’ll bring a pocket knife or some other type of weapon.”

According to Phipps, the incident represents standard procedure for any threat.

“We work to ensure that our schools are safe for all students and adults. We take all threats seriously. We also work closely with law enforcement any time threats to safety are reported. We encourage anyone to report actual or suspected threats to help us appropriately respond,” Phipps said.

The student was charged with bringing a weapon onto a school campus, Rose said.