Snapchat post leads to 2 gun charges in White Knoll incident


Local gun shop owner discusses carry laws in South Carolina

Robert Battista, 707 Gun Shop owner, is opposed to a law allowing anyone to buy and openly carry a weapon in South Carolina. Battista said on Friday, April 28, 2017, the current law requiring training for concealed weapons and the restrictions on

Robert Battista, 707 Gun Shop owner, is opposed to a law allowing anyone to buy and openly carry a weapon in South Carolina. Battista said on Friday, April 28, 2017, the current law requiring training for concealed weapons and the restrictions on

Deputies arrested two teenagers after they rode through a Lexington school’s campus with a gun in their vehicle, according to the school district and Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.

James Edward Folk, 18, and another teen were charged, officials said. Deputies charged Folk with carrying a weapon on school property.

The other teen is not identified and the charges are not public because he is younger than 17, according to the sheriff’s department. On Tuesday, he posted photos and video on Snapchat of himself and friends holding firearms in a vehicle, Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said.

A White Knoll High School student saw Folk and the teen at a business near the school with what the student believed was a shotgun in the vehicle, a statement from Deputy Michelle Proffitt said. Folk and the teen then rode through the school’s bus loading zone with the weapon in the vehicle and picked up another teen who was not permitted to leave campus, according to Koon and Lexington One spokesperson Mary Beth Hill.

The student told their parents about seeing the vehicle with the gun driving through campus and the parents called Lexington deputies, Hill said. The sheriff’s department contacted school officials and began an investigation.

“Investigators were able to use Snapchat video and school security camera footage to identify these suspects,” Koon said.

Folk is jailed in Lexington County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

The other teen in the vehicle was charged and released to the custody of his parents, the sheriff’s department said.

South Carolina law allows guns to be carried in vehicles onto school campus if the gun owner has a concealed weapon permit, and keeps the gun hidden and locked in the vehicle.

A person who does not have a concealed weapon permit and brings a gun onto campus in their vehicle can go to prison for five years and be fined $1,000.

Folk’s arrest is the seventh gun-related incident or threat Lexington authorities investigated in August.

“The district is proud of the student who noticed something out of the ordinary and reported it to his/her parent and to the parent who took it seriously,” Hill said. “Due to their vigilance, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department was able to begin an investigation quickly.”

The school district also has a tip line accessible online, by telephone or by email, for students, their parents or staff to report school safety concerns. Anyone can report safety concerns by calling 803-636-8317 and leaving a message; or details concerns by texting 803-636-8317 or emailing 1607@alert1.us.com.

David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.





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