Gun found at school, teen faces two felony charges, suspension

A Cairo High School student is facing a minimum of two felony charges after he brought a weapon onto the school campus Monday.
Stacy Lamar Burks, 17, of Cairo, has been charged with carrying weapons within school safety zones and terroristic threats and acts after he allegedly threatened a 17-year-old female student while in possession of the weapon at approximately 1 p.m. Monday.
The victim immediately reported the incident to school resource officer Duke Donaldson and CHS principal Chris Lokey, which was at approximately 1:10 p.m.
According to the incident report filed with the Cairo Police Department by SRO Donaldson, Burks was located in the school cafeteria and was taken into custody and searched. The weapon was not on his person, but a school faculty member reported to Donaldson that Burks had, moments earlier, walked past the school auditorium. The officer conducted a search of the area between the auditorium and Roddenbery Music Building and found an Airsoft BB gun, which resembled a semi-automatic pistol with a silencer on the end of the barrel. The weapon found matched the description of the gun provided by the female victim.
Burks was placed under arrest and transported to the Cairo Police Department.
CHS principal Lokey dispatched a notification to all parents of CHS students to notify them of the incident and the school’s response.
According to Lokey, Burks ultimately admitted to bringing the pistol to school. The student has been suspended and will go before a disciplinary tribunal per the Grady County School System’s student code of conduct.
“Any time there is an incident involving school safety and of a serious nature I want to make sure that I make parents aware. I want to provide all parents with accurate information involving the incident to dispel any rumors. School safety is our first priority. Weapons of any type will not be accepted at Cairo High School,” Lokey said.
“Thankfully, a student reported what she knew to an adult so that our administrators and School Resource Officer could respond quickly. We take all comments seriously. Jokes about guns or about bringing a gun to school need to cease. Parents can assist by having discussions with their children about the dangers in joking about guns. In today’s environment it is not appropriate,” Grady County School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard said.
The Cairo Police Department took the lead in investigating the incident, according to Grady County School System Police Department Chief Redell Walton. Chief Walton says the school system police force is still in the organizing phase and he said he was not involved actively in the investigation.
“Officer Donaldson and the CPD continue to respond quickly and professionally to all incidents. I’m looking forward to a great working relationship with them because, again, the bottom line is keeping our students and schools safe,” Chief Walton said.
Cairo Police Chief Keith Sandefur said that the police department had received reports of weapon thefts over the weekend and the pistol removed from the school was one of the stolen weapons.
Authorities were interviewing Burks in relation to the gun thefts, but no additional charges had been filed as The Messenger went to press.

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