Police won’t classify MHS incident a shooting

On Friday, September 14, just hours before classes at Monticello High School let out for the week, Albemarle County Police responded to a call from a resident of Stone Creek Apartments, which abuts MHS, about a possible shooting. An object had broken a first-floor apartment window, nearly missing a man who was in the apartment complex’s parking lot.

“We don’t know what it was. We have no idea,” says Sergeant Linda Jenkins, who is in charge of Albemarle’s School Resource Officers (SRO). “It broke the window in the apartment, but we don’t know if it came from school property.”

Around 2pm, two Albemarle police officers responded to the call. Jenkins says that she was in her car when she heard the call come over the radio and headed to MHS immediately. The SRO for Monticello, Officer Peter O’Malley, informed school officials of the incident to which police were responding. School officials did not take any measures.

“There was no lockdown,” says Jenkins. “The first thing we did was check the cameras to see if there was anyone over there in that area, and there was not movement, no traffic, there weren’t even vehicles back there.”

Police are unsure if the object that broke the window was a bullet, pellet or BB. Sergeant Mike Wager says that police are unsure if a weapon was fired at all. “There was nothing found to say it was a gun,” he says. “The one person thought to be involved was confirmed to be somewhere else, away from school.”

Albemarle County Public Schools forbid students from using or possessing weapons at school. Pellet and BB guns fall under the definition of “weapon.” The punishment for bringing a firearm to school is expulsion for at least one year, according to county school policy.

Police are treating the incident as a suspicious circumstance. “We took a report for further evidence in case [future incidents] are similar in nature,” says Wager, “but we have no suspects and we have very vague information at best, and no witnesses.”

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