AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Charges have been brought against a 15-year-old student at Grovetown High School after a quarrel led to violence off-campus Wednesday, Nov. 17th.
Another 15-year-old student at Grovetown High School allegedly involved in the incident was arrested that night at the Harlem Vs. Lakeside basketball game after being found on the Lakeside campus with the same kind of firearm described by both victim and the prior offender in the previous incident.
Charges issued against the two 15-year-olds include Simple Battery, Pointing or Aiming Gun or Pistol at Another, and Carrying a Weapon in a School Safety Zone.
Earlier in the day, law enforcement responded to the Great Glen portion of the High Meadows Community in Grovetown in reference to a fight that occurred at the High Meadows Clubhouse.
A 17-year-old Grovetown High School student told law enforcement that he had arranged to fight another 15-year-old student at High Meadows Clubhouse. When he arrived with his brother, the younger student had several other students with him. According to the 17-year-old, the 15-year-old was also carrying a grey pistol with him.
The complainant told the 15-year-old he wasn’t going to fight him until the gun was put away. According to a statement in the incident report, the younger student then allegedly issued a threat at the 17-year-old. The older student continued to tell the other student to put the gun away and fight him with his fists.
According to the incident report, the 15-year-old eventually put the gun in a small bag and put it on the ground, then proceeded to brawl with the older student, during which the older student fell on the ground, where, according to the complainant statement, the other children with the 15-year-old began to kick him while he was on the ground, resulting in injury that he refused medical treatment for.
While on the ground, the 17-year-old’s brother told him the 15-year-old was picking up the gun, and they both fled the scene.
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said that multiple law enforcement agencies became quickly involved, now that a firearm was believed to be in possession of a juvenile.
A call was made to Grovetown High School Principal Craig Baker to help locate the 15-year-old who’d brandished the gun.
According to the incident report in the case, during questioning the 15-year-old admitted to the fight, as well as taking his father’s gun for protection. He told law enforcement officers that the escalating tensions with the 17-year-old had caused him to have stomach issues and skip school. The older student, according to the report, had contacted him through Snapchat to arrange to fight.
When asked about the location of the gun brandished during the fight, the 15-year-old reportedly told law enforcement that he became scared concerning the situation and gave the gun to one of the other students who’d followed him there, this child also being another 15-year-old student at Grovetown High School.
Principal Baker was contacted, again, with questions about the new subject and how to find him.
At the home of the other juvenile, the one said to have concealed the weapon, family members provided a contact number to law enforcement officers for the juvenile who, according to incident reports, answered the phone and told law enforcement that he was at the basketball game at Lakeside High School and, furthermore, was not involved in the fight and did not know about a firearm.
Deputies were immediately dispatched to Lakeside High School, where they located the student. During the encounter, according to law enforcement, the student was asked to produce the firearm, to which he responded by pulling out a small, gray, unloaded firearm from inside his waistband and handed it to the questioning deputy.
Investigators in the case wrote that, during questioning, the juvenile confirmed he was given the firearm by the other 15-year-old that had fought the older Grovetown High student.
Both 15-year-old were booked at Columbia County Detention Center and then transferred to Regional Youth Detention Center in Augusta.
The 15-year-old involved in the fight has been charged with Simple Battery and Pointing or Aiming a Gun or Pistol at Another.
The other 15-year-old arrested at the Harlem vs. Lakeside basketball has been charged with Carrying a Weapon in a School Safety Zone.
No other charges have been filed at this time, according to Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
A statement has been issued by the Columbia County School System stating that “all parties involved will also be held accountable in accordance with the school district code of conduct.”