Officials respond to two reports of guns at Aiken High

  • Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 11:44 p.m.
    UPDATED: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 8:20 a.m.

A man who reportedly offered several students marijuana outside Aiken High School last week was seen the same day allegedly trying to sell a gun to “raise bond money for a brother,” according to the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

The alleged incident happened March 6 on the outskirts of the Aiken High School campus, according to a report. A student saw the suspect with a gun attempting to sell the firearm “to raise bond money for a brother” and informed police, according to the report.

Police went to Pinecrest School and spoke with the suspect, who denied the allegations, according to the report. The suspect reportedly spoke with a teacher at Pinecrest and admitted to having a gun on the campus the day before.

The suspect stated “that he was going to rob an individual of drugs and money to 'raise bond money for a brother,'” police said.

Officers contacted the suspect's mother, who said she did have a 9 mm handgun in her home but that the suspect did not have access to it, according to the report. The suspect was seen in the neighborhood later that afternoon by an officer and interviewed again. He again denied possessing a weapon.

During the first incident on March 6, a student reported a man approaching people, offering them marijuana and armed with a gun.

A victim told police the suspect asked him if he smoked weed, and the student said no, according to the report. The suspect showed him a gun and said, “You did not see anything.” He was last seen walking toward the football practice field.

In an unrelated incident, a 19-year-old Aiken man was arrested after a school resource officer at Aiken High School found him in his vehicle on school grounds with guns and ammunition in the car, according to reports.

The officer saw a group of students behind the E-wing area around noon on Friday, and one man got into a green Chevrolet Camaro and tried to leave, according to the report. The officer was able to stop him.

Inside the vehicle, the officer could see a box of .38-caliber ammunition on the passenger seat and two black gun cases behind the driver's seat, according to the report. The man was removed from the car and placed in handcuffs until backup units arrived.

Inside the car, officers found a .22-caliber rifle, a 12-gauge shogun and a .38-caliber revolver. They also found about 200 rounds of .22-caliber and 38-caliber ammunition, and 26 shotgun shells.

The man, Christian Coty Caudle, of Mixon Road, was taken to the Aiken County detention center where a hold was placed on him for possession of a weapon on a school campus and unlawful possession of a pistol.

According to Bill Burkhalter, an attorney for Aiken County Public Schools, Caudle is not a student at the high school.

Burkhalter could not comment on individual incidents, but said a student bringing a firearm to school is a permanently expellable offense.

“If you bring a handgun or any kind of firearm on school grounds as a student, you're not only expelled for the remaining balance of the year, but our board a long time ago considered that an act of incorrigibility,” he said. “We probably have one of the strictest policies on that in the state.”

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