Two Johnson High School seniors were arrested Monday after authorities say one of them brought a BB gun to school and another student was accidentally shot in the back of the head.
Edwin Huizar, 17, and Jessie Reyes, 17, have been charged with possession of a weapon on school property, a felony. Huizar also was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
The incident happened about 9 a.m. in the media center when
Huizar was showing Reyes the gun he had brought to school, according to Hall County school system and sheriff’s officials.
“As they were examining the gun, it accidently discharged and a BB struck a student who was sitting at a nearby table,” school spokesman Gordon Higgins said.
The two students were immediately suspended, pending a disciplinary tribunal by the school system, officials said. They were both booked into the Hall County Jail, with Huizar held on $11,000 bond and Reyes on $10,000 bond, said Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks, spokesman for the sheriff’s office. A first appearance hadn’t yet been set, according to the Hall County Magistrate Court.
According to state law, possessing a gun on school property without a license is a felony; with a license it is a misdemeanor. The law states that a conviction can be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, by imprisonment for not less than two nor more than 10 years, or both. Wilbanks said the court system has some discretion on whether a sentence could be served on probation.
He said “there were no threats or any indication that the student planned to use the BB gun.” Wilbanks said as the sheriff’s office understood it, Huizar bought the gun over the weekend from an individual and the incident was an “outright accident.”
The student who was shot was treated by the school nurse, and his father met with him and the school administration. He was not transported to the hospital but did go home.
Wilbanks said the seriousness of the action was reflected in the outcome, “two seniors on the brink of graduating and now facing felony charges.”