Staff Sticks to Plan After Armed Man Sends Schools into Lockdown


STUARTS DRAFT -- Three Augusta County schools were locked down Friday morning, after a teacher found an armed man on school property.

It happened just before 8 a.m. at Stuarts Draft Middle School.

Teachers and staff acted quickly to put into action the plan they had practiced.

"You practice and practice, so when it comes, you want to be ready to do what you're supposed to do," said Scott Musick, principal of Stuarts Draft Middle School.

And they were ready, springing into action after finding a man with two weapons, sleeping in his car next to a storage container. The school was quickly placed on a "Code Yellow" lockdown.

"When our kids come in the building," Musick said, "they were immediately taken to the first available classroom, the doors were shut - all the doors at that point had been locked - so blinds were pulled, lights were turned off..."

The Augusta County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene, finding a crossbow and BB gun in the man's car. They arrested the man, who was later identified as Brent Painter. Painter, 28, was a member of the work crew building a new sidewalk through town.

"No indication that he had any intent to commit any acts of violence, however, with him being intoxicated on school property in the presence of weapon, even though it's a BB gun, we have zero tolerance for that," said Michael Roane, an investigator for the Augusta County Sheriff's Office.

Roane said the staff at the school played a huge part, taking all the right steps.

"With the current climate that we're in, you just never know," Roane said. "And you have to be ready to protect the children."

Principal Musick said that is why they prepare, and why they practice.

"It worked the way it's supposed to work," Musick said. "It's why we do the drills, it's why we communicate between schools, it's why we have school resource officers. The time and attention that goes into this process, that's the way it was supposed to work, and it did work that way."

Nothing happened and no one was hurt, but the tense moments come just days after a gunman entered an elementary school in Georgia.

Investigator Roane said Painter has been charged for being under the influence of drugs, and also for obstruction of justice.


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