Officer shoots at intruder at Dutch Fork HS - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Officer shoots at intruder at Dutch Fork HS

Rony Maurice Rony Maurice

(Irmo) May 22, 2006 - Bond has been set for the man accused of walking onto a Midlands high school campus with a loaded gun.

19-year-old William Foster appeared before a judge Monday night. He faces a number of weapons charges and the combined bond was set at $45,000.

Investigators say 19-year-old William Foster showed up at the school Monday morning to retaliate against a girl. She had alerted the officer that Foster had threatened her Sunday night. Officer Rony Maurice was on the lookout for Foster Monday morning.

Sheriff Leon Lott says when Foster arrived at the school, he pulled a fully loaded 9mm handgun and pointed it at the officer. The officer fired one shot at the suspect, striking the hood of the car. The bullet lodged under the dash.

After the shot was fired, Foster dropped his weapon and surrendered. He was taken from campus a short time later.

The incident occurred about 10:30am. Lott says Foster had become angry after the female student rejected his sexual advances. The sheriff says Foster called the girl Sunday night, telling her he would come to school Monday and kill her.

Officials say the school continued operating and no injuries were reported. Many students were unaware of the incident. Parents began arriving to pick up their children shortly after the first news reports about the shooting.

The sheriff says a tragedy was averted by the quick action of the resource officer. "I think this just really proved how valuable they are. The system worked. The system of a student having trust in a school resource officer, giving him information. The school resource officer working with the staff and teachers here. And then when it happened, the action that he took. If that school resource officer hadn't been on this campus today there's no telling what would have happened."

Frantic parents streamed into the parking lot at Dutch Fork High. Some, including Sherwood Wilson, arrived minutes after hearing about Monday morning's incident. "I was at home fixing lunch. My husband was back in the back watching news and yelled come here quick. He said there's been a shooting at Dutch Fork. I just grabbed my bag and ran out the door."

Students were released at 11:45 as a matter of routine because it's exam time. Students were told that an incident had occurred in the parking lot and that the situation was under control.

Foster faces four charges including assault with intent to kill, pointing and presenting, carrying a weapon on school grounds and disturbing schools.

Updated 9:00pm by Bryce Mursch

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