Newton authorities investigate alleged shooting of airsoft pistol on school bus

COVINGTON -- Newton County Sheriff's Office and Newton County School System authorities are investigating an incident involving an airsoft pistol that was discharged Thursday evening on a school bus carrying Clements Middle School students. No one was injured in the incident.

According to NCSO Public Information Officer Deputy Cortney Morrison, the incident occurred about 7 p.m. when the bus was taking students from the Clements Middle School After School program home.

Two 14-year-old students, one boy and one girl, have been initially identified as taking part in the incident, Morrison said.

"The school bus driver said she noticed two children on the bus, one male and one female, acting like something was going on," she said, but added that the driver thought they were throwing paper at each other and told them to stop. "She then noticed the airsoft pistol in the female's hand."

Morrison said the bus driver said she stopped and asked for the pistol and the female told her she didn't have it.

"The male then walked to a place where the gun was hidden and got it and turned it over to the bus driver. The driver then made both children move up to front seats and called 911 and her supervisors," she said.

When deputies arrived at the scene they were able to ascertain that the boy had allegedly brought the gun to school, but the girl had allegedly taken it from him and attempted to shoot it at him.

"She said she did fire one shot at the male student. It missed him and didn't hit anyone else," Morrison said.

The two students gave deputies conflicting stories and the bus video has been forwarded to the Clements Middle School resource officer who will review the tape and continue the investigation. No charges were immediately filed following the incident.

According to Director of Public Relations for NCSS Sherri Davis-Viniard, there were approximately 16 students on the bus at the time of the incident.

"Some students were released to their parents at the scene; the remaining students were transported home on a different bus," she said. "Three students are expected to face disciplinary charges in accordance with rules in the NCSS handbook."