GHS student arrested for bringing gun to school

Published 9:44 pm Thursday, November 30, 2023

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The Greenville High School (GHS) went into an emergency lockdown around 10:45 a.m. after a call was made alerting administrators that a student was suspected of carrying a gun to school. 

The Greenville Police Department responded immediately, arriving at the school and locating the student in question. A revolver was found within the student’s belongings, and he was promptly arrested and taken into custody without incident. 

Greenville Police Chief Justin Lovvorn said after the student was arrested, there was a rumor that another weapon was within the school, but further investigation revealed no evidence to support the rumor.

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“When we found where the information originated from, it turned out to just be a rumor, and there was no validity in the statement,” Lovvorn said. “There was no real information given to begin with, but we investigated it as a precaution just in case.”

The warning call the school received Thursday morning was made by a former GHS graduate who currently lives out-of-state. The source explained he learned of the offender’s plan through a social media platform. 

The sophomore student, whose identity is confidential because he is a minor, will be transported to a juvenile detention center in Montgomery where he will stay until his trial date in Greenville. 

“The judge will set the date. They’ll have a quick trial to set the charges and he [the judge] will decide whether or not he has to be sentenced for the long term,” Lovvorn said. “He could either be sent back to the detention center, or he could go to rehab if that’s what he needs. There’s a variety of things that can happen.”

Some students’ parents questioned why they were not contacted immediately upon the lockdown. Superintendent Joseph Eiland said he understands the parents’ concern.

“I understand parents wanting to know when something like this happens,” Eiland said. “The school should have sent an immediate notification. Upon the lockdown the school administration was aiding the police in investigating the situation and ensuring the students were safe first and foremost.”

Lovvorn said he has recommended the use of metal detectors at the schools for some time now, and will continue to work with the school and explore other avenues to find reasonable resources to get the detectors onsite as soon as possible. 

According to Eiland, the Butler County School Board finally has the funding to purchase the metal detectors, but the date is still unknown when the detectors can be installed.

“We will meet early in the morning and talk with Chief Lovvorn to get some expert advice on our school’s security,” Eiland said. “Outside of having metal detectors, it’s very difficult to detect anything.”