Stratford High School student wanted after loaded gun found in his backpack

Local News

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCBD) – A Stratford High School student is wanted after investigators discovered a loaded gun in his backpack while on campus. Out of caution for students, the school was placed on lockdown for much of the day.

The incident began at around 11:00 a.m. It all seemed routine until the sheriff’s office called to see if they could speak to a student.

“Our school resource officer received information from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office which was conducting an investigation on some recent break-ins from some vehicles,” explained Capt. Shawn Laffey with the Goose Creek Police Department.

Officers wanted to talk to a 16-year-old male student, who they thought may know something about the break-ins. So, the officer located the student and took him to the office. He and an administrator began to search the suspect.

At that time he took off on foot and ran out the door.

He ran across the street from the school into a wooded area next to the industrial complex. The officer ran after him, but the 16-year-old was able to get away. A loaded gun was found in the backpack, but fortunately, the student did not have that with him when he ran off.

The school immediately thereafter was placed on administrative lockdown.

That remained through the end of the school day. Police dogs tracked the suspect’s scent all the way to the other side of the Quizel plant near Alliance Drive. After that, the scent died off.

“It’s our worst fears come to fruition,” said Capt. Laffey. “We don’t want to have to deal with this as a society. We don’t want to feel like our children are in a place where they can’t be safe and free from that type of danger, but I’m just grateful that the good law enforcement effort’s in the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, you know, the system’s working.”

Authorities are still looking for the 16-year-old male suspect. They say all he needs to do is call law enforcement and they will come to pick him up.

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