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Student brings gun to CMS

Posted: December 3, 2013 5:42 p.m.
Updated: December 4, 2013 5:00 a.m.

The Camden Police Department (CPD) detained a 13-year-old Camden Middle School (CMS) student after he brought a .38 Smith & Wesson gun and a box cutter to campus Tuesday.

Another student notified school officials that the 13-year-old brought the gun to school. A CMS administrator searched the student’s locker and bookbag as a school resource officer (SRO) stood by. The administrator located the gun and box cutter in the student’s backpack and then contacted the CPD. According to an incident report, the gun belonged to the students’ grandfather, who noticed the gun was missing, and contacted the school to see if the boy had it.

Sgt. Tyrell Coleman, the department’s SRO supervisor, transported the student to CPD headquarters along with the weapons. Officers determined the situation was an “isolated” incident and the student did not threaten any students or faculty members. According to the report, the boy told officers he brought the gun and knife because he felt threatened by some students to whom he owed money. However, he also told officers he never told an administrator or anyone else that he had felt threatened.

“One student made a bad move and another child made a good choice by forwarding that information to an adult,” CPD Cheif Joe Floyd said Tuesday. “This is a safe school and a safe campus. Students from time to time make poor choices, similar to citizens in the community. After reading statements, it was obvious that a number of students were upset by his actions and made it known to him that his actions were unacceptable.”

Floyd said the situation spoke well of CMS and the parents of the child who reported the gun because they were aware enough to approach an adult about the situation. He said the incident is a teaching opportunity for parents to reinforce the importance of doing the right thing.

School officials suspended the 13-year-old -- who is now being held at the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia -- from school pending an expulsion hearing by the Kershaw County School District. CMS Principal Byron Johnson sent a phone message to students’ families around 2 p.m. Tuesday explaining the situation and applauding any students who thought to contact an adult.

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