The incident happened around midday on March 22 at Blountsville Elementary School, according to a statement by the Blount County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities “received word that a firearm had been accidentally discharged inside a classroom.”
Blount County Sheriff Mark Moon was cited by AL.com as saying that the teacher had the gun in his pocket when it discharged.
“It (the sound) alerted administrators,’’ Moon said, according to the report. “He was detained until we could get him in our jail.”
On 3/22/2019 between the hours of 12:30p.m and 1:00p.m. the Blount County Sheriffs Office received word that a firearm…
After speaking with school administrators, deputies found out that Weaver had unlawfully brought a small caliber firearm into the classroom and kept it concealed on his person.
The sheriff’s office said the gun discharged while inside of Weaver’s pocket. Deputies also learned that there was one child who had received minor injuries.
Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey was cited by AL.com as saying the injured student was examined by the school nurse after being struck by a fragment.
The student was treated on the scene and released.
Weaver was booked into Blount County Jail and faces numerous charges.
“Obviously I’m concerned about a substitute teacher bring a gun to school,’’ the sheriff said, according to AL.com, “and what we can do to prevent that in the future.”
Weaver has been charged with possession of a deadly weapon on school grounds, third-degree aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment.
“We are so very thankful no one was seriously injured and for the swift response of school administration,” the Blount County Sheriff’s Office stated.
The incident has sparked a range of reactions on social media.
Commenter Lynene Marsh wrote in support of arming teachers.
“If students can carry them the teacher should be able to carry! From experience my granddaughter went to Southeastern where has been 2/3 incidents happened there!!”
Social media user James Shinn argued only designated law enforcement specialists should be allowed to carry guns in schools.
“Only Sworn Officers should carry firearms on school property,” argued Shinn. “For those that support otherwise consider that the most likely person to attack students is a student not an outsider. Let teachers be teachers not police.”
“God forbid something like this ever happened,” wrote Jeremie Baker, “but if a school shooter showed up there today and this man was able to stop it with his firearm he would be hailed a hero. It’s very unfortunate what happened and thank the Lord nobody was hurt or worse. But I would rather have it and not need than need it and not have it.”
Commenter Jeremy Harbin suggested the firearm was not safely carried and Weaver should pay the price for negligence.
“I’m glad no one was hurt,” he wrote. “Most likely this was a pocket pistol which means he had a bullet chambered with the safety disengaged (if it had a safety at all). It discharged in his pocket which means that something had to come in contact and pull the trigger (a pen?). Why wasn’t the gun holstered with something guarding the trigger? This man was not carrying his gun safely and will pay the price now….which he should because he was negligent in his care of a gun. Guys like this shouldn’t carry a gun at all if they are not going to treat it with the respect its due.”
Facebook user Eric McFerrin argued the charges brought against Weaver were excessive.
“Inexcusable gun handling but the charges seem out of line for an accident,” McFerrin wrote. “Glad there were no serious injuries.”
“Be responsible gun owners and secure your weapon,” commented Troy Blair. “I’ve carried for 30 years and never accidentally discharged a weapon. Secure your triggers people.”
“We live in an evil world,” Blair continued. “And God gives us common sense to protect ourselves and our families. If someone attempts to harm my family, I will defend myself and my family and then pray for the perp once he is no longer a threat. I believe in God, Guns and America. God Bless America.”