February 24, 2018 10:00:13 PM
Local law enforcement is investigating an incident at Columbus Middle School earlier this month in which a male student found a handgun in his belongings on campus.
Columbus Municipal School District Interim Superintendent Craig Shannon confirmed to The Dispatch on Friday that a CMS student was taken to Lowndes County Juvenile Detention Center after the gun was discovered on Feb. 14.
Shannon said the student saw the gun in a binder among his belongings and reported it to a teacher. Then the teacher alerted school administration. Shannon would not confirm whether the gun was loaded.
School resource officers seized the weapon and arrested the student and removed him from campus, Shannon said.
It's unclear at this time whether the child brought the gun to school on purpose.
"The weapon was never brandished," he said. "There's an ongoing investigation as to the origination and ownership of the weapon."
Columbus Police Department is assisting the investigation, Shannon added, chiefly by trying to trace the handgun's owner.
CPD Chief Fred Shelton told The Dispatch his department did not learn of the incident until school resource officers asked investigators for assistance identifying the gun's owner either later Feb. 14 or the next day. That's inconsistent with expected protocol, he added.
"When a gun is found on a school campus, they're supposed to tell us," Shelton said. "(They didn't do that) through the proper channels."
Shannon would not confirm if the student had returned to school.