Officer's stolen pistol found at Dougherty High - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Officer's stolen pistol found at Dougherty High

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April 19, 2007

Albany --   Just two days after the massacre at Virginia Tech, a Dougherty High student was arrested for taking a gun and ammunition to school.  And it turns out the gun was stolen from a Dougherty County Police officer. Fortunately, police found the gun inside a student's locker before anyone was injured.  

Police say 17-year-old Antoine Shell was proud of the .40 caliber Glock pistol he took to school yesterday.  He was even showing it off.

"In a conversation, he had brandished the weapon to another student," said School system police Chief Troy Conley.

Students told the principal and school system police officer Sam Hill about the gun.  They searched Shell, his locker and that of a friend.  That's where the weapon was found.

"Several students had come forward, and advised them that there was an individual on campus that did have a handgun," Conley said.

Not just any handgun.  The gun was the service weapon of a DCP officer stolen from her home over the weekend.

"When she got ready to go to work," said Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek.  "She realized her service weapon was missing."

The gun was immediately entered into a state and national crime database, and the school system police department was notified about the missing gun.

"It's always a serious concern, said Cheek.  "We don't want weapons where they shouldn't be or in the hands of people who should not have them, and schools are obviously a very high risk situation."

That's clear now more than ever after Monday's massacre at Virginia Tech. One of the guns that Cho Seung-Hui  used to kill all of those students was a 9-millimeter.  The gun the student took to school yesterday was a .40 caliber, even bigger than a 9mm.

Plus the gun has no external safety and can hold 13 bullets, with another in the chamber.

Police don't believe Shell planned to use the weapon at school, only that he made a very bad decision. "Nothing to lead us to believe just a young individual who made a very stupid decision on taking a handgun to school," Conley said.

With very good decisions by other students, quickly reporting the gun to officials, before it could be used. "The weapon was recovered, there were no persons injured.  It's a good ending for us," said Conley.

And possibly a bad end to one young man's high school career.  Shell has been suspended and is awaiting a tribunal hearing.

Antoine Shell is in the Dougherty County jail with a $10,000 bond.   Police don't know how he got the weapon.

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