MARION COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A school resource officer in Marion County has been suspended after discovering his gun went missing last Thursday.
Michael Lupo, the Superintendent for Marion County School District One, says officer Allen Elvis misplaced his firearm after school hours and there are no indications the weapon was left on school property.
"He's an excellent SRO and has a very good rapport with the students and we really hate that this has happened," said Lupo. "We're not suspecting that it's on school property but we are taking the proper precautions."
Officials have not determined whether the gun was stolen or misplaced, but Elvis will remain suspended without pay until the situation is resolved. Evidence presented to investigators has led officials to believe the weapon was misplaced. However parents and relatives of students say they still have their concerns.
"A gun missing like that I mean that's shocking, " said Kelvin Foxworth who has several relatives at the school. "I mean different things have been going on in other schools all over South Carolina."
Sheila Sanders who has two grandchildren at Marion High School, believes the school district should have been more up front about the situation.
"I had no idea and I'm sure if my daughter had known about it she would have said something to me," said Sanders. "I hope and pray that the school is taking every possible initiative they can to make sure none of the children's lives are in danger."
Lupo says the school district is working closely with the police department to resolve the matter. However the school is not using metal detectors on a daily basis, instead they are performing random searches.
Marion Mayor Rodney Berry describes officer Elvis as a "good employee with a good track record", who has been employed in Marion County for more than three years, serving the majority of his employment as a school resource officer.
The City of Marion has replaced the suspended officer with another officer to patrol the school.