GMS gun case prompts school safety reminder

Published 1:22 pm Friday, October 5, 2018

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A potentially dangerous situation was neutralized by the Greenville Police Department last Monday after officers were notified of a threat of a student with a gun, which forced Greenville Middle School to be placed on lockdown.

According to GPD chief Justin Lovvorn, the student was in possession of a pellet gun rather than an actual pistol. Regardless, the juvenile is facing serious punishment.

“What we ended up finding out is that this particular student threatened another student with the gun last Friday,” Lovvorn said. “The student threatened didn’t come forward until Monday for fear of retaliation from the student with the gun. We were notified of the situation, pulled the student in question from class and located the pellet gun in his backpack.”

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Lovvorn said the school went under lockdown for 15 minutes. Once the gun was found, the student was escorted out of school.

“The 13-year-old student is facing felony charges as a juvenile,” Lovvorn said. “The charges he faces can put an adult in prison for 15 years. For a juvenile, the student could be put away until he’s 18 years old. It’s a very serious offense.”

Lovvorn added that parents should be aware of what weapons are in the house – real or not.

“Parents needs to be vigilant and aware of what their child is doing with a BB gun, airsoft gun or any other kind of weapon that isn’t a real gun,” he said. “Obviously, if you have real guns in your house, those need to be put away and kept in a safe place.”

The name and sex of the student being charged cannot be released due to juvenile status.

Butler County Schools Superintendent Dr. John Strycker was happy that the situation was handled and taken care of in a timely manner.

“After this occurred on Monday, we reiterated to our students and parents that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated,” he said. “This kind of offense is serious and can get a student in serious trouble. We reemphasized the fact that there are severe consequences to these kinds of actions.”

Dr. Strycker also praised the relationship between the schools and the Greenville Police Department.

“We have an officer in the high school and middle school, and are so appreciative of that,” he said. “Having an officer at the school closes the communication gap when there is a situation like this. The officers know the students and know when something isn’t right. The police did an excellent job in this instance of making sure everything was handled properly.”