An 18-year-old student at South River High School in Edgewater faces criminal charges after he left a shotgun in his vehicle following a hunting trip and parked the vehicle at the school.
Police and school officials said Friday there was no threat to students and the gun owner didn’t intend to harm anyone at the school. The student, who lives in Edgewater, had been hunting earlier and officials believe he forget to safely store the shotgun.
“I want to be clear that at no time did the student make any threats against anyone at our school, and at no time were students or staff in any danger,” wrote Principal William T. Meyer in a note to parents. “However, possession of a weapon on school property is illegal and is a violation of our Code of Student Conduct. In addition to any charges that may be levied by police, we will take appropriate disciplinary action with regard to the student.”
The Anne Arundel County Police Department said in a news release that an administrator inspecting vehicles in the student parking lot for permits Friday morning saw the weapon partially covered by clothing on the back seat of the teen’s vehicle. There was no one in the vehicle and the administrator called for assistance from the school resource officer about 8:16 a.m.
School personnel identified the student associated with the vehicle and removed the 18-year-old from class during the investigation. Police retrieved an unloaded 12-gauge shotgun and several loose rounds of ammunition from the back seat of the student’s vehicle. The officer also seized two pills of controlled medication not prescribed to the student.
The investigation shows the student had been hunting previously and the weapon had not been removed from the vehicle afterward.
Police said the student was arrested and charged as an adult with possession of a deadly weapon on school property and CDS Possession.
South River Principal William T. Meyer posted this letter to parents on the school website:
I am writing to let you know about an incident that happened at our school today so that you can have the most updated information we can provide and discuss it with your child in a manner you deem most appropriate.
Just before 8:30 this morning, one of our administrators on routine duty in our student parking lot noticed what appeared to be a shotgun that was partially covered by an article of clothing on the back seat of one of our student’s cars. The administrator immediately called for our School Resource Officer and our school quickly identified the student and brought that student from his class to the office.
The SRO retrieved the unloaded weapon and ammunition that was also in the back seat from the vehicle. Our questioning of the student indicates he had gone hunting last night and simply forgot to remove the gun from the car.
I want to be clear that at no time did the student make any threats against anyone at our school, and at no time were students or staff in any danger. However, possession of a weapon on school property is illegal and is a violation of our Code of Student Conduct.
In addition to any charges that may be levied by police, we will take appropriate disciplinary action with regard to the student.
At this point, we have found nothing in our investigation to indicate that the student had any ill intent. Still, I wanted you to have this information so that rumors do not spiral out of control.
I encourage you to discuss this matter with your child, and emphasize the inappropriateness of bringing such items to school. We all must do everything we can to keep our focus solely on instruction.
Thank you for the support you continue to give your child and to South River High School. Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you have any questions.