Demopolis student arrested after bringing gun to school

The Demopolis Police Department arrested a juvenile Friday after learning that he possessed a firearm on school grounds.

“The principal detained the student, went through his book bag, found the weapon, took the weapon, isolated the student and notified the police,” Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff said of the incident. “Usually in situations with students, they’re going to show another student a weapon. We work with our students and hope that our students, when they see a weapon, tell an adult. That’s the case. That’s what happened. This particular child showed to other children and those children told the adult. The adult told the principal and he got the student and took the weapon away.”

Upon arrival at the scene, the Demopolis Police Department officers seized a .38 caliber handgun and took the student into custody. The student, who cannot be identified because of his juvenile status, is charged with possession of a deadly weapon on school grounds and carrying a concealed weapon. The DPD turned the student over to the Marengo County Juvenile Probation Office for prosecution. The school campus is not being identified at the urging of the school and law enforcement officials.

Demopolis City Schools issued an “all call” Friday, informing parents and stakeholders of the situation once it had been resolved.

“I wanted to get the message out there before the message gets me out there. People are going to twist things the way that they want. We wanted to get it out there. We wanted to make sure that parents knew their children were safe,” Kallhoff said. “That was the main thing. Also, in the all call, I wanted to reinforce that what the kids did by telling an adult was the right thing. I wanted that to be known.”

Kallhoff indicated that, while city schools officials were eager to let parents know of the situation, they felt it was necessary to walk a delicate line in the timing of the “all call.”

“It’s interesting because as a parent you want to know immediately when something like that happens, but as the police are investigating and as school administration, you can’t let everybody know immediately,” Kallhoff said. “You have to handle the situation. What we had to do was make sure the kids were safe. That’s our immediate thing and we did that. We made sure the students were safe. We made sure the poor decision maker’s parents or guardians were notified. Those things take time. So we did all that and then we did an all call and then we did a Facebook post as well to let them know that it happened and they were safe.”

Kallhoff also praised Demopolis Police Chief Tommie Reese and his staff for their efforts in handling the situation as quickly and as easily as possible.

“He had an investigator and two police officers on site. He personally called me maybe an hour afterwards. Before we did the ‘call them all’, I called him again to make sure we were to the point that we could get it out there,” Kallhoff said. “He’s easy to work with. He’s a pleasure to work with. The whole police department is.”