Man found guilty after reportedly bringing semi-automatic firearms onto Wythe County school property

Justin Reed (Credit: Wythe County Sheriff's Office) (WSLS)

WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – A Wythe County man charged in February after reportedly bringing two fully-loaded firearms onto school property in February was found guilty on multiple charges Wednesday, according to the Wythe County Commonwealth’s Attorney.

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Justin Reed, 28, was found guilty on the following charges:

  • One felony count of possession of a firearm on school property
  • One felony count of Brandishing a firearm within 1,000 feet of school property
  • One misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct

We previously reported that on Feb. 17, 2023, authorities said a Wythe County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer was notified that a man was on the school property with an AR-15-style rifle.

According to authorities, Fort Chiswell High School was placed on lockdown, deputies took position outside of the headstart, and all school buses were told to avoid the area. The SRO and other Wythe County deputies were able to stop the man on Apache Run near Clinch Valley Community Action headstart, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities said Reed had a fully-loaded Diamondback semi-automatic 5.56 rifle and a fully-loaded semi-automatic 9mm Sig Sauer.

According to Wythe County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Jones, a presentence report was ordered and sentencing is set for Jan. 10, 2024.

“My office has always made it an ultimate priority to protect the innocent. Our Wythe County school children deserve a safe space to attend school and school activities. The convictions today help ensure such a safe and peaceful place for our children. Thank you to the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office for their prompt response and investigation of this incident,” Jones said.

We’re told Reed remains incarcerated pending sentencing.

CORRECTION: An employee located Justin Reed at the time of the incident. Justin Reed’s workplace was not shared.

About the Author

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.

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