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Another student arrested for possession of loaded handgun at Richland Co. school, 3rd in week

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Another student was arrested for bringing a loaded handgun to a Richland County school.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department says a 14-year-old male student at St. Andrews Middle School was arrested Wednesday after administrators found a loaded weapon in his backpack.

The student is charged with having a gun on school property, unlawful carry, and being in possession of a gun under the age of 18.

Officials say another student alerted faculty that the student had a gun and the school resource officer located the weapon.

This is the third loaded gun in the past seven days that have been found in Lexington-Richland County schools.

WIS uncovered shocking numbers about guns in area schools. More than 10 guns have been found in Richland and Lexington County schools so far this year. Two of them were loaded.

Across Richland and Lexington County schools there have been 4 handguns including Wednesday’s arrest, eight BB guns, and two toy guns.

The breakdown of each school and the guns found are below.

In Richland One:

  • one loaded gun
  • one broken handgun

In Richland Two:

  • one loaded handgun
  • two BB guns
  • one a toy gun

In Lexington One:

  • one loaded handgun
  • one airsoft pellet gun.

Lexington-Richland Five:

  • six BB guns

The LR5 District has an app called “Stop It” that students can alert school officials about a gun on campus among other threats.

LR5 says all of the BB gun recoveries occurred because the students courageously reported the gun to a school official in person or through the anonymous reporting app “Stop It.”

LR5 says they value and appreciate students confiding in adults with confidence that any concerns regarding school safety will be addressed.

Richland Two said they have a hotline for students to use, but a lot of students go straight to an adult.

“We can’t stress enough that both of those things should be reported to a teacher, administrator, or a school resource officer,” said R2 Spokesperson Libby Roof. “ Any employee will know what to do with that information.”

According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, a common theme is the weapons are always found in book bags.

Sheriff Lott also said students tell on the student who brings a weapon.

He said it always happens that the student shows it to someone, that student tells another person, it gets around to other students and then a student tells a teacher or the school resource officer.

For reference, LR5 had no firearms confiscated in the past two previous years -- numbers are up.

The hotline for R2 is 803-736-8756.

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