GATE CITY — Scott County authorities and school officials confirmed that a juvenile student was arrested on felony weapons charges after he allegedly threatened another student at a basketball game last week with what was later found to be a BB gun.
The incident reportedly occurred in the school parking lot Feb. 7 during a Gate City High School home boys’ basketball game against Lee High School.
The identity of the student, the school he attends and his grade level were not released because he is a juvenile, school and law enforcement officials said.
The boy is currently being held at the Highlands Juvenile Detention Center in Bristol, Va.
School officials said the incident stemmed from an ongoing dispute between two male students that began prior to the basketball game.
The boys were arguing in the parking lot, officials said, when the student facing charges allegedly flashed what was thought to be a handgun at the second student and a group of his friends. Several students also reportedly saw the weapon in the back seat of the student’s vehicle.
Authorities said the teen made several comments during the argument alluding to the fact he possessed a firearm.
School officials said they, along with law enforcement officers, were notified of the potential weapon after the student left school property.
Upon further investigation, authorities said they were able to recover the firearm and determine it was actually a BB gun. The boy also reportedly admitted to authorities that he was in possession of the BB gun at the game.
Scott County Public Schools has a zero-tolerance policy regarding weapons on school property. The ban includes BB guns.
As a result, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office took out arrest warrants on the teen for possession of a weapon on school grounds. The boy was reportedly taken into custody before he came to school Monday and has not been on campus since.
School officials said extra precautions were taken following the incident to ensure the safety and security of students and faculty at the Gate City High School/Middle School complex.
“Never once was the school under lockdown,” Scott County Schools Superintendent John Ferguson said. “Rumors began (circulating about the incident) so measures were taken to have additional resource officers, and plain clothes officers, available as needed.”
Ferguson declined to comment further on the Feb. 7 incident and said the matter was being handled by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and Scott Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.