The claim: A student with three guns was arrested at a Georgia high school
As school shootings escalate across the country, a social media post claimed a Georgia high school student was found with multiple guns on campus.
“If you have kids at Westside High, check your kids, they say a student just got caught with 3 guns,” reads the November 16 Facebook post which was shared almost 200 times in two days.
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Although there was an incident involving a firearm on school grounds in Macon, Georgia that day, a district spokesperson said the teen arrested in connection with the crime was not a student there. And officials said it was one gun, not three.
USA TODAY has reached out to the social media user who shared the claim for comment.
Teen charged with bringing gun onto school grounds was not a student
Stephanie Hartley, a spokeswoman for the Bibb County School District, told USA TODAY that the Facebook post had “absolutely no basis in fact.” She noted that the district also had commented on the postcalling it “disinformation”.
There was a single-gun incident on campus that day, but Hartley said the individual arrested was not a student of the school or the district.
The incident began around the time of the dismissal on Nov. 16, when a campus police officer spotted a gun in one of the vehicles in the car pool lane. When they approached the vehicle, a suspect later identified as 17 Zyon Hardwick fled with the gun and headed for the woods, Hartley said.
After: Vigils, prayer following UVA shooting that left 3 dead
On line Bibb County Law Enforcement Center records show Hardwick was charged with carrying a weapon on school property, criminal street gang activity and possession of a gun or revolver by a minor.
Our opinion: False
Based on our research, we rate the claim that a student with three guns was arrested at a Georgia high school as FALSE. A 17-year-old was arrested on suspicion of bringing a firearm onto school property Nov. 16, but a district spokesperson told USA TODAY he didn’t. was not a student in the school or in the district. Officials said the teen had one gun, not three.
Our fact-checking sources:
- Bibb County Law Enforcement Center, accessed November 19, Inmate Information
- Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, November 17 Facebook post
- 13WMAZ, November 16 Investigators capture man after campus chase near Westside High School in Macon
- 41 BNC, Nov. 16, Westside High School will host asynchronous learning on Thursday and Friday
- Dan Sims, November 16 Facebook post
- WGXA, November 16 BSO: Suspect arrested after hours-long manuhnt in pursuit of gun on Macon school campus
- WGXA, November 1, 2018, Westside High student brings gun to school and hides gun in his clothes
- WGXA, September 7, 2018, Westside HS student detained after finding gun in backpack
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