Deputies: Tragedy avoided by actions of school resource officer

Published: May. 6, 2014 at 4:24 PM EDT|Updated: May. 6, 2014 at 9:09 PM EDT
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BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office is crediting the actions of a local middle school's school resource officer for avoiding a tragedy.

A 13-year-old student was taken into custody at Sedgefield Middle School and charged with possession of a firearm on school property and with making threats, according to Berkeley County Sheriff's spokesman Dan Moon.

Moon says a relative of a 14-year-old student contacted Deputy Gary Lipsey, the school's resource officer, Tuesday morning to express concern about the older student's safety. Moon says Lipsey then contacted the seventh grade administrator to have the 13-year-old pulled from class.

During questioning, deputies say the teen admitted having a semi-automatic handgun in his backpack, and that he had taken the gun, which belonged to his mother, without her knowledge.

The incident apparently stemmed from a past altercation between the two students, and deputies believe the 13-year-old felt the 14-year-old was going to harm him.

The student was transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia, Moon says.

According to a statement from the Berkeley County School District, "No students were hurt, and there were no interruptions to the other students' school day." District spokesperson Susan Haire said the student has been recommended for expulsion by the school.

Parents of students at Sedgefield Middle School were notified of the incident via the school's parent notification system.

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