COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – A 19-year-old is facing a felony charge after pulling out a gun during a fight outside New Hope High School.
Lowndes County Sheriff Eddie Hawkins acknowledges that things could’ve gone from bad to so much worse when 19-year-old Perry Marrow allegedly reached for his weapon during an incident after a high school basketball game on February 7th.
“When we have a large group of people leaving a sporting event like that and now guns come into play,” he says. “The potential for violence is there.”
The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department says deputies were called to New Hope High School after a 53-45 win over West Point in boys basketball. Witnesses say two girls got into a fight leaving the game that drew a large crowd.
“When the deputies arrived on the scene, they were told the suspect had a gun in his possession,” Sheriff Hawkins says. “They located a gun in a vehicle and seized the weapon for further investigation.”
The gun was a semiautomatic AK-47-style DRACO pistol with a 30-round magazine.
“This gun has the capability of shooting 30-round magazines, one at a time, in rapid-fire,” Sheriff Hawkins says. “So it’s very concerning the damage that this could have caused.”
Marrow is not a student at either school, and the sheriff says he is actually legally allowed to have a gun in his car, even on school property.
“But once that gun has been removed and that gun has been brandished, then that individual’s committed a felony,” he says.
A felony that carries the potential for up to three years in prison and a $ 5,000 fine.
Sheriff Hawkins says school surveillance video showed Marrow pulling the gun from his car. He was arrested on Friday.
“He then realized that law enforcement was in the area and stowed the gun back away,” he says. “I don’t know what his intentions were. Luckily, no one was injured during this incident. ”
But the sheriff knows the plenty of people could have been.
“We’re trying to send a message out to the younger generation that they just can’t settle their differences picking up a gun,” Sheriff Hawkins says. “If they take someone’s life, that’s it. They’re going to spend the rest of their lives in jail. “
The sheriff says investigators are still working to determine if Marrow owned the gun legally.
The 19-year-old has since been released from the Lowndes County Jail on a $ 5,000 bond.