Sheriff: Students’ tips led to the discovery of handgun at NC middle school

Teachers demand Union County Public Schools starts all-remote
Teachers demand Union County Public Schools starts all-remote(WBTV)
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 4:13 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - After receiving reports from students at a Union County School, a School Resource Officer located a handgun in a student’s backpack on Monday at Sun Valley Middle School.

Within minutes of receiving the initial report, the school’s SRO quickly located the student that was suspected to be in possession of the firearm in his “commons” class which is held outdoors on the school’s campus. The SRO determined the suspect did not have the firearm on his person but ultimately found an unloaded, semi-automatic pistol in the suspect’s book bag inside an empty school classroom,” according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

Law enforcement said a magazine for the handgun was also recovered stored separately containing one round of ammunition.

“At this point in the investigation, it does not appear that the suspect brandished or threatened any other students at the school with the firearm and thankfully no students were injured during this incident,” according to the UCSO.

The UCSO credits the diligence of the students who reported the incident to help resolve the situation.

“These responsible, alert students made the right decision when they immediately notified their teachers and SRO of a gun on the school’s campus. The ability of our SRO to identify the suspect in this case and to locate and seize the weapon quickly was made possible due to the effective reporting systems currently in place for our students. We remain committed to providing and maintaining a safe learning environment for all of our local children and teenagers,” Sheriff Eddie Cathey said.

Due to the suspect’s age, the department is not releasing additional information at this time.

“The suspect who brought the weapon to the school is under the age of 18 years old and is considered a juvenile. Due to his age, the suspect’s identity cannot be released. UCSO deputies will be obtaining criminal charges against the suspect through the Department of Juvenile Justice. This investigation is ongoing and UCSO deputies ask that anyone with information pertaining to this case call our office at (704)283-3789, Union County Crime Stoppers at (704)283-5600, or submit a tip through our free UCSO smartphone application,” the UCSO said.

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