Two teens and a woman were arrested after they reportedly walked across a Burke County elementary school campus with a loaded shotgun Wednesday morning.
Icard Elementary School was put on lockdown after three “suspicious individuals” were spotted walking across the school’s campus. Deputies said someone driving by the school called 911 at approximately 9:17 a.m. when they saw the trio pointing a rifle at the school and at the caller.
The caller said the three people — a woman and two males — then went into the woods near a utility right of way. Law enforcement officials were at the scene within minutes of the call and driving down the utility right of way looking for the people.
Other deputies went to cut off the trio at a road that intersected the utility right of way about a half mile away. At 9:26 a.m., those deputies reported hearing a gunshot fired within yards of their position, and quickly found the suspects at the edge of a nearby field.
Two of the people were arrested in the field, but deputies say one of the teens – who reportedly had the shotgun in his hand – tried to run away back into the woods. He soon complied with demands to drop the weapon and come out of the woods and was arrested by 9:29 a.m.
Douglas Allen Shuford, 18, is charged with possession of a firearm on educational property, possession of drug paraphernalia, and a domestic violence protective order. He is being held on a $30,000 bond — $25,000 for the weapon on educational property and an additional $5,000 for an unrelated charge.
Shuford initially denied having a weapon on school property and said he fired the shot because he thought a Jeep was chasing them.
Tabitha Brie Evans, 33, is charged with aiding and abetting possession of a firearm on educational property. She was given a $3,000 bond.
Evans told WBTV that she didn’t believe in guns and was with the teenagers to “help them better their lives.”
Justin Wayne Hatley, 18, is also charged with aiding and abetting possession of a firearm on educational property. He was given a $1,000 bond.
The lockdown has since been lifted. No injuries were reported. While the lockdown was lifted, deputies stayed on hand all day.
The school system notified parents through an automatic calling system.
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