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Waynesboro: Sixth-grader arrested for bringing weapon on school property

Crystal Graham
airsoft rifle
Stock photo of airsoft rifle – (© Irina – stock.adobe.com)

A student reported to Kate Collins Middle School administrators today that a fellow classmate had a firearm.

Waynesboro school staff located the 11-year-old male sixth-grader in question after the report. The school also contacted the Waynesboro Police Department for assistance.

After a search, the school administration and police department determined the student had an airsoft gun. Airsoft guns are designed to resemble actual guns but are most often used in mock combat. Unlike paintball guns, airsoft uses 6 mm round BBs made of hard plastic. Airsoft BBs sting on bare skin but could cause further injury if the eye area is hit.

According to the Waynesboro Police Department, the juvenile was arrested without incident.

“At approximately 10:30 a.m., Kate Collins Middle School administrative staff notified the Waynesboro Police Department that a student reported another student had a firearm. The school administration located the student immediately and searched for the weapon,” the release stated.

The juvenile was charged with the following alleged offense:

  • 18.2-282 Pointing, holding, or brandishing a firearm, air or gas operated weapon, or object similar on school property. It is a class 6 felony.

According to the police department, “the juvenile went to the Waynesboro Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for a hearing.”

Due to his age, the juvenile’s identity was not released.

Upon completion of the threat assessment, it was determined that no Kate Collins Middle School students or staff were in danger.

While there may not have been a specific threat, “it is a significant violation” of rules to have the airsoft on school grounds, said Ryan Barber, Assistant Superintendent of Waynesboro Public Schools.

Barber said he cannot discuss charges or any actions the school may take.

“I cannot discuss school consequences,” he said.

The social media post by the school division explaining what happened today thanked the classmate for reporting the potential firearm to school administrators “just as they have been taught to do.”

For any questions regarding the incident, contact Ryan Barber at (540) 946-4600.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.