Children Bring Loaded Handgun to School - Grandfather Charged

March 16, 2012: Two fifth grade students at Meadowview Elementary School face charges after one of the students brought a handgun to the school.

According to Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman, a staff member at the school observed the gun, a fully loaded .22 cal. pistol in the backpack of one of the students. The male students, ages 10 and 12, were taken into custody by Washington County Virginia Sheriff's deputies shortly after the incident occurred at approximately 3pm Friday afternoon.

Investigation into the incident revealed the boys had conspired to bring the handgun to school with the intent to kill as many people as possible and then flee the area.

Upon conferring with the Commonwealth's Attorney, charges of (1) possession of a firearm on school property; and (2) conspiracy to commit capital murder were lodged against each student.

Both boys are being held in the Highlands Detention Center in Bristol, VA.

March 22, 2012 Sheriff Fred Newman

Charges have been filed against the grandfather of one of the boys charged in the incident that occurred at Meadowview Elementary School Friday afternoon, March 16, 2012.

According to Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman, the incident involved a fully loaded .22 caliber pistol being brought to the school and was discovered by a staff member who observed the weapon in the boy's book bag.

Arthur Samuel McCracken, age 60, of 12444 Lindell Road, Meadowview, VA, has been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. "Our investigation has revealed that the fully- loaded pistol was left unsecured in a vehicle," stated Sheriff Newman. The student knew the weapon was in the vehicle, retrieved it and, apparently, brought it to school.

A court date is scheduled for March 26, 2012, at 3:00pm in the Washington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

"I want to impress upon the parents, grandparents and other family members the importance of properly securing their weapons. This situation, in all probability, may have been avoided, had the weapon been properly secured," stated Sheriff Newman.

The reports above derived from the Washington County Virginia Sheriff's Dept.