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BB gun at school: Limestone 6th grader faces charges

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — Limestone County authorities have charged a sixth-grader with making a terrorist threat.

Sheriff's Department Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said the 12-year-old boy pointed a gun at a fellow student at Owens Elementary School on Tuesday.

Owens is on Alabama 99 west of Athens.

McNatt said the victim had seen the 12-year-old get into a fight with another student.

"The boy told the victim, 'I'll shoot you if you tell anybody about the fight,' " McNatt said.

The victim told a physical education teacher Wednesday, and school resource officer Dean Murray and Chief Deputy Randy King questioned him about the incident.

"It turns out the gun was a BB gun," McNatt said, "but what he did was still a threat."

McNatt said the boy hid the pistol-size BB gun in his pants pocket.

Superintendent Barry Carroll said school officials "acted swiftly and appropriately" after two students notified the staff on Wednesday that the boy had the gun at school on Tuesday.

Carroll said the boy admitted to authorities Wednesday night that he brought the gun on campus.

"He has been suspended pending an expulsion hearing," Carroll said.

The boy faces a one-year expulsion for bringing a firearm onto campus.

Officials arrested the boy Wednesday and released him into his parents' custody.

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