ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Three more teens are facing charges in connection with a gun that was brought to East Rowan High School Wednesday.
Donald Maness was arrested on Wednesday and charged with possession of a firearm on school grounds, possession of a firearm by a minor, breaking and entering of a motor vehicle, larceny of a firearm, and possession of a stolen firearm.
On Friday, police announced that three more teens had been charged in connection with the incident.
Austin Sechler was charged with possession of a firearm on school grounds, possession of a firearm by a minor, and possession of a stolen firearm.
Trey Beshears is charged with possession of a firearm by a minor, breaking and entering of a motor vehicle, larceny of a firearm, and possession of a stolen firearm.
A 13-year-old, whose name has not been released, was also charged. That student is facing the same charges as Beshears.
According to Principal Tonya German, law enforcement led an investigation that discovered a student, later identified as Maness, brought a weapon to school.
Deputies say they found an unloaded .40 handgun and magazine wrapped in a t-shirt inside of a bookbag.
The investigation began at about lunchtime on Wednesday, according to the sheriff. Staff from Nazareth Children’s Home contacted Sgt. Scott Flowers of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office with a concern that one of their students may possess a firearm at East Rowan.
The information had come to the Nazareth staff from a source in Ashe County. There were three students that the staff determined needed to be questioned at East Rowan.
Deputies say that after a period of investigation, the handgun was located in student’s book bag.
The principal says the incident was handled quickly and without incident. The gun was seized and Maness was arrested.
Deputies added that further investigation determined that the handgun was stolen from a pick-up truck that was parked at a home in Rockwell, NC. The theft occurred sometime after midnight on Monday. These incidents are still part of an ongoing investigation.
“Law enforcement assessed the situation and determined that a lockdown was not necessary. We are continuing to cooperate with law enforcement on this investigation,” Principal German said.
The district’s Code of Conduct is enforced when handling incidents of this nature.
“The safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and we will continue to take all necessary measures in assuring that our school remains safe,” Principal German said.
There is no word on what evidence led to the additional teens being charged on Friday.