Teen charged after gun found during high school fight

Posted at 7:46 AM, Feb 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-22 17:19:09-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Police said an 18-year-old has been charged after a weapon was discovered during a fight at John Marshall High School Friday.

Police said they responded to the school Friday morning for a report of "shots fired," however no gun was fired in the fight.

Danzall Seward, 18, was charged with two felonies: possession of a weapon on school property and possession of a stolen weapon; and three misdemeanors: possession of a concealed weapon, simple assault and disorderly conduct.

A 16-year-old male student was has also been charged with two misdemeanors: simple assault and disorderly conduct.

Richmond Police spokeswoman Dionne Waugh said the fight started inside the school and moved outside.

Richmond police said a handgun was spotted as Seward ran out of the school.

"It's terrifying, your kids are not safe anywhere," parent Angela Johnson said.

Police chased down and arrested the suspect, a Performance Learning Center (PLC) student, at a nearby YMCA. The bus to the PLC leaves from John Marshall High School.

The Richmond high school was placed on a code red lock down while police investigated the situation. That lock down has since been lifted.

"We have since lifted that code red," Dr. Thomas Beatty with Richmond Public Schools said.  "We have students on restricted movement but our main focus now is what it is we can do to resume the business of running schools."

But parents like Angela Johnson said just as disturbing as learning the school was on lock down, was the way she found out--via text messages from her son.

"Everybody is upset because no parents were called to let them know what's going on," Johnson said

Improving communication between schools and parents is an issue Richmond School Board Chairman Jeff Bourne agrees needs attention.

"We do need to look into this event ," Bourne said.  "But also just as a general matter with the culture, climate and safety of our schools.  There's a lot of challenges that we face here in Richmond and so we've got to be mindful as we develop strategies."

"It just don't make no sense," John Marshall student Nactelre Johnson said.