UPDATE: Suspect Arrested for Stuarts Draft Middle School Incident

By: Newsroom Email
By: Newsroom Email

STUARTS DRAFT, Va. -- The Augusta County Sheriff's Office has arrested a 28 year-old man in the incident Friday morning that caused three schools to be put on "code yellow lock down."

Brent Painter, a 28 year-old who is from Stuarts Draft, is charged with "being under the influence of narcotics" and "obstruction of justice."

Two weapons were found inside the vehicle: a crossbow and an air rifle.

Friday morning at around 7:45 a.m. as students were being dropped off for school, a teacher noticed Painter in the school's parking lot.

According to Winona Emerson, the Assistant Principal, the teacher notified School Resource Deputy Damian Fink who quickly called 911.

Fink tells WHSV's Carly Stephenson that Painter admitted to taking methamphetamine.

Painter told the deputy that he took meth on Thursday evening.

Fink said Painter was unresponsive to commands and was rocking back and forth inside his truck yelling obsenities.

Because his hands were not visible, Fink had to use caution when opening the door and taking Painter into custody.

Fink said Painter explained his reason for parking in front of the middle school by telling him that he was waiting on work with a construction crew to start Friday morning.

There is a sidewalk construction project going on nearby.

The project is part of an initiative to have safe routes for students to walk to the middle school, high school and elementary school.

To keep kids safe, Principal Scott Musick said the administration routed buses to the sides of the building as opposed to the normal drop-off point.

A decision was made to lock down Stuarts Draft Middle School and two other nearby schools.

Students remained in homeroom until the all-clear was issued.

The code yellow designation means that students are locked inside the nearest classroom with teachers, with lights off and blinds drawn.

All students and faculty are safe.

Classes have resumed as scheduled.

Parents will receive calls about the incident and students at the middle school will be going home with a letter explaining the situation.

Painter has posted bond and has been released from custody.

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