Community reacts to unloaded handgun found in Charleston Co. student backpack

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 10:29 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2021 at 6:15 PM EDT
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HOLLYWOOD, S.C. (WCSC) - Administrators at Baptist Hill Middle High School said they found an “unloaded handgun” inside a student’s backpack Monday.

“The weapon was confiscated without incident,” Baptist Hill Middle High School Principal Brendan Glaze wrote in an email to parents. “We have not received any reports of anyone being threatened.”

Glaze said school administrators and the school resource officer found the gun after getting a tip.

“We ask you to use this opportunity to encourage your children to help keep our school safe by following ‘if you see something, say something,’” Glaze wrote.

According to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office report, the student showed the gun to several students during the day before getting caught.

Many parents said they heard from students’ different rumors going around like what the student planned to do with the gun and who they were targeting.

This has led to discussion in the community on social media, calling for more details and transparency from the schools. One of those people weighing in is community activist Elvin Speights.

“I don’t wanna hear that this is over,” Speights said. “I need to know what happened, I need to know exactly what’s going on. I need to know for sure that this isn’t something that we’re going to have another mass shooting here in Charleston.”

Some parents also expressed concerns about sending their kids to school.

It’s a question parents around Charleston are now asking.

“The question that I’ve always said and a lot of parents feel like this, when do we start taking it serious?” Speights said. “When we get the threat? Or when they’re in the hallway shooting kids down?

The student who brought the handgun to school told law enforcement that he brought it to school because he felt he needed it for protection. The report states there was no information about anyone bothering him from either his mother or the principal.

He now faces a minimum of a one-year expulsion.

Charleston County Sheriff’s Office investigation

A Charleston County Sheriff’s Office report states that the investigation began when a deputy met with a school administrator who said he just received information that a middle school student had a gun in his backpack. After receiving the information, the deputy and the administrator located the student, and the administrator conducted a search of the student’s backpack and saw a gun, deputies said.

According to the sheriff’s office, the deputy then took the student into custody.

Investigators reported that the student said he brought the gun to school for protection because he believed that he was going to be “ganged.” Deputies said that there was no information about anyone bothering the student from either his parents or the principal.

According to the incident report, the student showed the gun to several students during the day before being caught.

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