GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A scary ending to a normal day. That's how one Harrison County teacher described last Thursday, when a student was suspected of bringing a loaded gun and extra ammunition to school. The teacher was there when officers arrested the teen.
"I didn't know I was in a dangerous situation. I had no idea," Robin Malone said Monday.
Malone still can't believe what happened in her classroom at North Gulfport 8th Grade School last week. Sitting in the back of her math class was a student who was accused of carrying a loaded gun, 100 rounds of ammunition, an extra magazine, and a mask.
"Just the idea that we had been in that kind of dangerous environment and hadn't even realized it. You just think back about all the things you said or did or the other students said or did, and you just come away very thankful that nothing agitated the student to the point that he might hurt somebody," said Malone.
Malone said she had just dismissed her class when two school resource officers and the principal suddenly showed up. Malone and a few students who were left were told to leave the room, except for the 14-year old suspect.
"When they came out with the student, I saw his hands behind his back. He was cuffed," she said. "In my mind, I thought the boy had drugs. I didn't know what was going on, had no clue that he had a weapon."
But word quickly spread around campus. Malone said the principal later confirmed the information through an email to the staff.
"I guess you never think a 14-year-old is going to do anything like that. He's a quiet kind of person. You just don't want to see those kinds of things, so I was sad," said Malone.
Malone said it was harder going to work the following day.
"Coming in Friday, it was a little bit more scary, just not knowing if somebody would be copycat kind of thing or if there might have been other people involved," she said.
Malone said she is thankful no one was hurt, and she calls the student who notified the principal about the gun a hero.
"I have no idea what was on the student's mind who had the gun, but whatever it was, it was stopped. I'm thankful and had the student not stepped forward, God only knows what would have happened," said Malone.
Police say they still don't have a motive. The teen is being held in the Harrison County Youth Detention Center, charged with possession of a weapon by a student.
Malone said since the experience, she has become more vigilant about keeping an eye on anything that might not seem right. She also encouraged her students to not be afraid to report suspicious activity to a teacher or another adult.