, Corbin, KY

November 6, 2013

School locked down due to gun

Whitley County Middle student in custody, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

A Whitley County Middle School student remains in custody after allegedly bringing a weapon onto school property.

According to Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell, the 13-year-old student faces charges of disorderly conduct and possession of a weapon on school property.

“There was no danger, ever, to students,” Harrell said. “I’m sure some were scared.”

According to a press release sent by the Whitley County Board of Education, WCMS Principal Stuart Conlin learned of a possible weapon on campus at 8:20 a.m. Tuesday.

The school was then placed on lockdown.

“He got off the bus at 10 minutes before 8,” Harrell explained. “And he started showing his little pistol around.”

That “little pistol,” according to the sheriff and the school system’s press release, was an airsoft gun.

According to the website, “these guns shoot 6 mm round pellets commonly known as ‘BBs.’ They travel at speeds much lower than real bullets and although a bit painful when hit by one of these pellets, they cannot kill someone nor cause heavy-bleeding injuries unlike real guns. Even though airsoft is considered a toy gun, safety precautions should still be taken into account when playing with these replicas.”

Harrell said the student’s airsoft gun appeared to be a 9 mm.

“He hid it under his belt,” Harrell explained. “Apparently there were some kids aggravating him.”

The student allegedly showed it off, he said.

Conlin notified Student Resource Officer David Lennon, who then went and retrieved the student from class and detained him in the office, the school system’s press release states.

“This seemed to be a reaction-type of situation,” Harrell said. “(The student) just did it rather than thinking it through.”

The student was searched, according to the press release, and the unloaded airsoft gun was found.

“The entire incident lasted less than 10 minutes,” the release added.

Superintendent Scott Paul thanked both Conlin and Lennon for their “quick response” to this “unfortunate incident.”

“We have procedures in place to handle situations such as this and they followed the procedures to the letter,” Paul said. “As a result, the entire event was over in less than 10 minutes, and school was able to resume as normal.”