North student arrested after allegedly taking pistol onto school bus, threatening student

Rain Smith • Feb 5, 2014 at 6:48 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — A Sullivan County juvenile was arrested after allegedly taking a pistol on his school bus, pointing it at three people and threatening to kill a fellow student.On Tuesday, the 17-year-old Sullivan North student was charged with aggravated assault, carrying a weapon on school property and three charges of reckless endangerment.

Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart said the incident occurred on Friday morning. However, neither a school resource officer nor faculty members at Sullivan North High School, 2533 N. John B. Dennis Highway, Kingsport, were alerted to the alleged offenses until Monday.

At that time, detectives began investigating the case and interviewing witnesses. Earhart said they learned that the boy allegedly displayed the gun, loaded it and unloaded it while en route to school on Friday.

That morning, he also pointed the weapon at a fellow student on the bus, according to police, and pointed it toward the back of the bus driver while the bus was in motion.

Earhart said the driver wasn’t aware of the weapon or the boy’s actions. The suspect reportedly didn’t take the gun off the bus once it arrived at school but hid it in a storage container within the vehicle.

The student then reportedly retrieved the gun from the container on his way home Friday afternoon, at which point he allegedly pointed the weapon and threatened to kill another student.

Earhart said the suspect was taken into police custody and is currently held in a juvenile detention facility. She urged local students to make authorities aware of any potential violence or weapons as soon as possible.

Sullivan County Director of Schools Jubal Yennie could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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