NEW MADRID - An altercation between two high school students escalated Monday afternoon when one of the young men attempted to stalk the other with a shotgun.
According to New Madrid County R-1 school officials, the incident began during the final hour of the school day Monday when two freshmen became involved in a verbal argument. The brief incident was resolved by the supervising teacher and no further words were exchanged between the young men during the remainder of the period, said Dr. Mike Barnes, R-1 superintendent.
"It is my understanding that one of the two students involved went home after school and the other remained on campus for practice. I further understand that the student who went home as soon as school was dismissed took a shotgun back to where he mistakenly thought the second student would be walking to after practice," said Barnes.
At one point while the student was waiting in Lilbourn for the other to come from practice at the school, he fired the gun in the air to prove to others that it was real, the superintendent said. At this point, witnesses then notified the other youth's parents.
The parents picked up their child from practice at the high school and returned home without incident.
Civil authorities were contacted and the boy who had the gun in his possession was questioned then turned over to New Madrid County juvenile authorities.
According to Barnes, the school's principal immediately suspended the young man who had the gun for 10 days. This action can be taken without a formal hearing, he explained.
The matter then was forwarded to the superintendent, who will conduct a formal hearing into the incident. The hearing will allow the student and his representatives to formally meet with the school board and officials, which is required by law. Following the hearing, school officials will make a decision on what further actions will be necessary, Barnes said.