Student arrested after pulling gun on Dallas County campusPublished 2:45pm Wednesday, May 15, 2013
PLANTERSVILLE — A Dallas County High School senior who is just days away from graduating, is being held in the Dallas County Jail after pulling a handgun on another student during an argument Tuesday.
Demetrius Shaw, 18, has been charged with possessing a weapon on school grounds and although the charge carries with it a $15,000 bond, previous juvenile charges pending on Shaw, have led authorities to hold him without a bond.
“We were contacted by officials at Dallas County High School that a student had pulled a handgun on another student during an argument,” Randy Pugh, Chief Deputy with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, said. “Apparently when he pulled the gun, another student nearby reached over and pulled the gun away from him, taking control of the gun.”
Principal of DCHS, Michael Blair, said after reviewing footage of the incident, the student didn’t point the gun at the other student, but he did pull it out of his bag. After Shaw showed the weapon, the students involved and a substitute teacher quickly separated from the argument preventing the altercation.
Pugh said at that point, school officials detained the student, confiscated the .22 caliber revolver and placed it in a confined area of the school. School officials then contacted the authorities and Blair retrieved the backpack from the student’s classroom. The incident took place around 11:30 a.m.
Blair said the incident was handled without putting the school on lockdown and was carried out as smoothly as it could have for an incident of this nature. He said the administration, “handled the situation very well, it was quiet and there wasn’t any panic.”
Pugh shared the same sentiments, and had praise for the way the administration put a stop to a dangerous situation.
“The principal and staff at Dallas County High School did an amazing job in this situation getting everything under control as quickly as they did,” Pugh said. “They should be highly commended for their actions.”
There was no information on what led to the argument, but Pugh said anytime a weapon is pulled it is assumed their intent is to use the weapon.
Pugh added that Shaw would likely not have his first court appearance until next week, and that appearance will likely deal with the juvenile charges he is facing. A later appearance will deal with Tuesday’s incident.
Authorities said an initial background check of the weapon did not show it had been stolen or involved in any other crimes and a more in-depth check of the weapon would be completed in coming weeks.
School officials react, make plans to prevent incidents from happening in the future
By Ashley Johnson
The Selma Times-Journal
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department sung their praises for the administration at the Dallas County High School for the way they quickly brought an end to a dangerous situation Tuesday.
But the fact remains a gun entered the campus and an altercation almost occurred between two students. Luckily, another student and a substitute teacher intervened, stopping the violence before it could happen.
Dallas County High School principal Michael Blair said he was most proud of the way the students reacted to the situation.
“I am so proud that the kids let me know,” Blair said about students coming forward and telling them another student had a gun. “I’m going to tell you that Dallas County High School is blessed with great kids and a great staff.”
Blair, once notified, retrieved the backpack from a classroom and found the gun, a loaded .22 caliber revolver. He watched footage from the earlier incident in the day and saw the student pull a gun from his bag.
The school did not go on lockdown for the incident, Blair explained, because he said that, “Some things are better when handled quietly than making a lot of noise.”
He said many administrators would, sadly, panic in these situations but his staff handled the situation as best as they could have and the operation went smoothly.
To combat these incidents from happening again, Blair is calling for increased parental supervision and involvement, tighter dress codes and more frequent checks with the metal detecting wands — something the school currently does sporadically.
The school does not have metal detectors in the entryways.
“You are going to have isolated incidents at schools,” Blair said. “But until we can sell to the community that we have to stop this, and parents have to get involved, we will have to do random checks and check book bags, and things like that we will randomly have to do.”
Dallas County School Superintendent Dr. Fannie Major-McKenzie said she would look at the possibility of metal detectors in the schools.
“The students are wanded and checked periodically,” McKenzie said. “But we don’t have the walk-in metal detectors. But that is something we can look at for the future and look into purchasing for the next school year as an added safety measure.”
McKenzie, like those at the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, commended the administration’s swift response to the incident and said they, “responded appropriately and that is what we prepare them to do.”