Caroline Sheriff hands school gun case to State Police, parents want answers

Published: Oct. 16, 2015 at 7:23 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2015 at 7:23 PM EDT
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CAROLINE, VA (WWBT) - Virginia State Police are investigating after a "possible weapon violation" at Caroline County Middle School, Thursday afternoon.

Principal Angela Wright says the school's administration was alerted by a student at noon saying a student had a gun on campus. The student was quickly removed from the school population by the School Resource Officer. Deputies then immediately confiscated a weapon and removed the individual from school grounds.

"After learning the identity of the student, I requested the Virginia State Police to handle the investigation of this case as I feel this would be a conflict of interest," posted the Caroline County Sheriff's Department on Facebook.

The Sheriff's Department and Virginia State Police were both investigating this incident, but after the identity of the student was revealed, deputies felt that Virginia State Police should handle the investigation due to what he considers a conflict of interest. The sheriff's office won't elaborate on that conflict.On Friday, students took the day off due to a teacher work day, so the scene at Caroline Middle was calm.

"It all comes to the parents. They should not have guns laying around where a kid can find them," said Jack Parson whose granddaughter attends the school.

Parents say the female student showed up with brass knuckles, as well.

"The girl could have gone buck wild or something and shot my granddaughter," Parson said.

Although the Sheriff's Office was the first agency to respond, when NBC12 showed up for answers a representative said the Sheriff was not available to speak on or off-camera about the incident.

State Police are only saying due to the child's age, the department is prohibited by law on releasing information about the juvenile in what officers call an
"ongoing investigation".

"She should be expelled," said Walker Childs, whose relatives also attend the middle school. "You endanger the life of other kids and teachers. That gun could have went off and hurt anybody."

Although State Police would not say what, if any, charges the student will face, Virginia Code says any person who knowingly possesses a gun on school grounds, or even a school bus, can be found guilty of a class 6 felony.

The school is awaiting the outcome of the criminal investigation before taking disciplinary action. No one was hurt during this incident. Police say students were never in any danger.

NBC12 is still working to determine what the conflict of interest is between the sheriff's office and the suspect.

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