Two students this morning were jailed in connection with an air soft pellet gun one brought to school and the other allegedly pointed at two other students. The orange tip identifying it as an air soft pellet gun had been removed, authorities say.
"It looked just like a Beretta handgun," Bartow Schools Police Chief Dan Knowles said.
Adairsville High School Principal Bruce Mulkey notified parents in a letter, a copy of which parent Michelle Kahn emailed to Cartersville Patch.
"I want to inform you of an unfortunate incident that occurred this morning in the cafeteria," he said, adding the gun was "actual size."
Devante Tevon Dotson, 17, of Rydal, and Tyler Lydell Jackson, 18, of Cartersville, were arrested and jailed as a result of the 8 a.m. incident that happened as people across the country prepared for moments of silence and bell ringings in memory of the 20 students and six adults killed in last Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
"The whole timing thing is not just stupid, but past stupid, I would think," Knowles said. "Not thinking, that’s really what it is. Not thinking....I don’t even know if there’s was a reason. They really didn’t say. I don’t know if it was a spur-of-the-moment thing. Just being stupid."
Knowles added that Jackson is accused of bringing the pellet gun to school, while Dotson allegedly put it to the back of one student's head and pointed it at a second student's chest or abdomen.
"That's what got the attention of the other students," Knowles said, referring to the teens who reported the incident. "That’s the kids who want to do the right thing anyway."
Mulkey said several students made reports.
"While most students in the cafeteria at the time were unaware that there was an issue, several students immediately reported the incident to staff and the two students were removed from the cafeteria without incident," Mulkey said in the letter, attached. "I am extremely proud of the students and staff who acted swiftly to keep the situation from becoming more dangerous for all of our students.
"As I know you aware, this could have been an extremely dangerous situation and will be handled accordingly," Mulkey continued. "I encourage you to speak with your son or daughter to make sure they understand the severity of and the consequences of this type of incident.
Dotson and Jackson will face a tribunal, or disciplinary hearing, to determine if they'll be expelled or suspended from school, Knowles said. The two, as adults, also face criminal charges.
While Dotson was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon on school property, Jackson faces one count—possession of a weapon on school property. Both are felony charges.
Tell us what you think in the comments, share your photos and videos, and don’t miss any of the local news you care about—subscribe to Cartersville Patch's newsletter, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.