Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

May 9, 2013

Felony charges for VHS student with BB gun

Student brought knife to school, fled authorities

VALDOSTA — After chasing an armed student outside of Valdosta High School and across a football practice field at around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, officers found that the 17-year-old junior was in possession of a very realistic BB pistol, according to authorities from the Valdosta Police Department.

The foot pursuit began when the student voluntarily emptied his pockets for his coach and the school resource officers. The coach alerted the officers before questioning the junior about the smell of smoke on his clothing, reports stated. They then discovered that there was a knife in one of the student's pockets and a Co2-style BB pistol in his backpack, which looks like a Walther 9mm handgun.

The student reportedly told them that the pistol was a BB gun, but then ran out of the school and across a practice field with the weapon in his possession with the two school resource officers and the coach in pursuit, reports stated.

Authorities caught up with the student in the median near the intersection of Perimeter Road and North  Forrest Street, reports stated. The incident was injury-free and the BB gun wasn't discharged, reports stated.

Tearrance Demond Wrice, 17, was charged with disruption of public school, possession of marijuana on school property and two counts of possession of a weapon on school property for possession of the knife and BB gun, reports stated. Wrice was transported to the Lowndes County Jail ahead of a court appearance, according to reports.

“The BB gun looks like a real gun until you examine it,” said Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress. “Bringing any kind of weapon on school property is prohibited, but we’re glad this wasn’t what it initially looked like.”

Childress said he was very pleased with the way the faculty member handled the situation and for alerting the school resource officers (SRO).

“This incident is a perfect example of why the SRO’s are in the schools.

“The coach did the right thing, and we’re grateful the incident was resolved before it got out of hand.”

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