Weapons found on HCMS campus

Published 5:30 pm Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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MURFREESBORO – Two students here at Hertford County Middle School are facing charges after they were each found in possession of guns on campus on Wednesday.

Due to their status as juveniles, the names of the students were not released. There were no injuries.

The school was placed on lockdown for a period of time, the first coming shortly before 12 noon.

“The guns were never used in a threatening manner,” said Hertford County Schools spokesperson Brunett Parker.

Parker said the principal received notification that a student had a gun on campus.

“With the assistance of the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office and the Murfreesboro Police, we recovered two guns from two students. Both students were detained and placed into juvenile custody,” Parker stated. “No students, staff or community members were harmed.”

The Hertford County Sheriff’s Office responded to the school along with Murfreesboro Police Department officers.

“Once they arrived they were briefed by school officials that they had a eyewitness that stated that a juvenile was seen with a handgun on campus, which prompted the school to be placed on lockdown,” said Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes. “Together we were able to locate the juvenile and recover a handgun from their backpack.”

Hayes said that student was detained and taken to the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office and charged with carrying a firearm on educational property, possession of a stolen firearm, and RDO (Resist, Delay and Obstruction). The juvenile was placed in secured custody were they remain until their first court appearance.

But the incident didn’t end there.

Hayes said at 1:35 p.m. on Wednesday, additional information was received regarding the possibility that a second HCMS student was in possession of a handgun on campus.

“We had just left the campus from the first incident when we got credible information about a second student with a weapon,” Hayes said. “We immediately returned to Hertford County Middle School at which time there was another lockdown in place. Law enforcement and school officials located the student quickly and recovered a handgun from the student’s coat pocket.”

That student was detained and transported to the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office were a juvenile petition was issued, one that keeps him in secured custody until his initial court appearance. That petition charged the student with carrying a firearm on educational property

Following the second incident, Hayes said a police K-9 was called in to assist in an attempt to locate other weapons.

“That was done as a precaution,” Hayes noted. “Nothing was located and the lockdown was lifted.”

Hayes stressed there was no credible threat of violence planned by either of the two students.

“Our investigation revealed it was a case of two students carrying handguns onto the school campus; they did not use the weapons in any threatening manner nor were there any intended targets,” Hayes stated.

Hayes thanked his personnel, officers with the Murfreesboro Police Department, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, and Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, and all the school personnel who were involved in the incidents.

“Without everyone working together we wouldn’t have seen success today. Thank you to that unsung hero that came forth and helped us, you know who you are, I would like to personally say job well done,” Hayes said.

“Hertford County Public Schools is committed to providing a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students and staff. In an effort to maintain trust and transparency, we will always inform you of perceived threats against our schools or the surrounding area,” said Parker. “We applaud the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office, the other responding law enforcement agencies, our administrators, staff and students for their collaboration in this situation.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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