String of gun-related incidents at Central, Southwest Virginia schools raise safety concerns

Tuesday’s incident marks the fourth incident in one week and the sixth in two months

LYNCHBRUG, Va. – Tuesday’s gunfire at Lucy Addison Middle School in Roanoke marks the fourth incident in our region in one week, raising safety concerns at local schools.

Authorities say a 19-and-20-year-old were arrested and charged Monday after they brought a stolen gun on the grounds of Appomattox County High School.

On Thursday, a Lynchburg student was arrested for having a handgun inside the LCS Empowerment Academy.

Last Tuesday, a bullet hit a Roanoke City Public School bus with students on board.

In addition, students brought guns to William Fleming and Halifax County high schools in February.

Thankfully, no injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

“We need to look at why are they’re bringing the gun, how did they get the gun, and what was their purpose for bringing the gun?” said Marko Galbreath, owner and instructor of T4TATICS.

Galbreath has more than two decades of law enforcement experience and spent the last dozen years teaching firearm safety classes in Lynchburg.

“One incident of bringing a firearm to school can change their entire life with a felony or worse,” said Galbreath.

He says it could ruin any future ambitions.

“A lot of firearm charges don’t go away. You can always dig and find them, and that could affect them from having a good job, or going to college, or playing sports for the rest of their life.”

He believes it ultimately circles back to responsible gun ownership.

“There are a lot of laws where gun owners can get into trouble — legal trouble, criminal and civil — because they failed to secure their gun.”

He says gun locks and safes are affordable — and will save lives.

“Bottom line, black and white. There’s no gray area in that. [A firearm] has to be controlled and locked up,” said Galbreath.

That could possibly prevent a crisis in the classroom.

About the Author

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.

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