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article imageVirginia teen arrested after bringing loaded guns, ammo to school

By Karen Graham     Dec 16, 2014 in Crime
A Middlesex County, Virginia teenager could face additional charges after County Sheriff's deputies found loaded guns, ammunition and knives on school property. The arrest has hit the close-knit community hard, shocking even law enforcement officials.
Middlesex Sheriff's Department deputies were conducting a random drug sweep at the Saluda, Virginia high school on Friday, when a K-9 dog alerted deputies to an SUV belonging to 18-year-old Austin James Martin, a student at the school. He was called out of class to unlock his vehicle.
The Sheriff's deputies discovered four loaded guns, several knives and more than 600 rounds of ammunition, scattered throughout the vehicle parked outside the school. Much of the ammunition did not fit any of the weapons seized by the officers. Martin was placed under arrest and was charged with felony possession of a firearm on school property.
The school superintendent and Middlesex Sheriff's Department both say there was no indication that Martin had planned to attack the school. Martin was very cooperative when called out of class and asked to unlock his vehicle. Sheriff David Bushey said the situation is "highly unusual" for the county, and is "extremely serious."
Parent Irene Reed, whose daughter attends the high school said, "Even if he wasn't going to use the weapons, they were there with access. Anyone had access to them. As parents, if your children do have access to weapons, then we need to be responsible about where they're ending up and where the children are going with them."
Middlesex County school superintendent Dr. Thomas Taylor said he was deeply concerned, and the safety of the students is the number one priority. Taylor expressed shock, saying this was just not something that happened in the community.
According to school policy, any student found in possession of a weapon is suspended and faces expulsion. Martin is out on $1,500 bond, after being arraigned on Monday. He faces a court date on January 5, 2015. Martin has been suspended from school and is not allowed on school property.
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