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Dowagiac student arrested on weapons charges

Published 4:11pm Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A 17-year-old Dowagiac Union High School student was arrested Wednesday afternoon after three weapons and some ammunition were found in his vehicle in the school’s parking lot.

Following a tip received by a Dowagiac school resource officer, officers from the Dowagiac Police Department and the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, working with school administrators, contacted the student. A search of his sport utility vehicle revealed a rifle and shotgun, along with ammunition for both weapons, and a knife, according to Tom Atkinson, Dowagiac’s director of public safety.

The student was arrested and transported to the Cass County Jail, where he was lodged pending arraignment on two counts of carrying a weapon with unlawful intent, three counts of possession of a weapon in a weapons-free school zone and two counts of felony firearms.

“We’ve received the warrant request,” Victor Fitz, the county prosecutor. “We are reviewing it, and we are in the process of authorizing charges.”

Fitz said the prosecutor’s office expects the student will be arraigned in Cass County courts at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

  • buster

    How is unlawful intent proved? Wouldn’t that require mindreading?

    • vicky

      That’s a good question!! How does he get 2 felony counts as well. Who left the TIP…? Who read his mind? Really you should hear all the lying that is going on in the school covering their a**es! Not to mention that at 10pm he still has not been charged with anything!! But the paper already knows….just sayin!

  • katierohman

    The Dowagiac Police Department sent a press release to the media, that is how the paper found out. The charges are not official until an arraignment, which is scheduled for Thursday.
    Katie Rohman
    managing editor

    • unknown

      Have you thought that mabye the family dosent want the press involved? That maybe they are going through a hard enough time? So explain to me, why do you want to make the family feel more bad about it? Thats sarcasting sympathy. Way-ta-go for doing that

    • vicky

      This is my son we are speaking about. I am seriously upset that I am getting no information from the police! But they have enough to give a press release. I understand that the media need to report the news..I just feel that the way the story is being put out is unfair to my son and our family. It has been interpreted the wrong way by many.

      • Elizabeth Sapp

        The young man needs to remember as do his parents that do many lives have been lost to violence in public schools. I’m sure it’s was most likely in his car because youth hunting starts this Saturday but we all need to secure our ammo and be safe and smart. Stress to your son the importance of this safety measure , It’s simply a shame he has to go thru this to learn a lesson.

      • Elizabeth Sapp

        The young man needs to remember as do his parents that so many lives have been lost to violence in public schools. I’m sure it’s was most likely in his car because youth hunting starts this Saturday but we all need to secure our ammo and be safe and smart. Stress to your son the importance of this safety measure , It’s simply a shame he has to go thru this to learn a lesson.

        • R…

          Or maybe he was shooting trap, which I believe he and his family does. Granted should of remembered to take the guns out. But to be honest how would they have known otherwise? There are a lot of fishy details.

      • Chad

        BIG QUESTION If there was “intent” why didn’t the school go on lockdown. They didnt take the threat seriously? Somethings wrong with all of this.

  • Nick Stull

    Firearm or Dangerous Weapon; Carrying With Unlawful Intent – Mich. Comp. Laws Section 750.226

    Legal Research Home > Michigan Laws > Michigan Penal Code > Firearm or Dangerous Weapon; Carrying With Unlawful Intent – Mich. Comp. Laws Section 750.226

    750.226 Firearm or dangerous weapon; carrying with unlawful intent.

    Sec. 226.

    Carrying firearm or dangerous weapon with unlawful intent–Any person who, with intent to use the same unlawfully against the person of another, goes armed with a pistol or other firearm or dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or knife having a blade over 3 inches in length, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than 2,500 dollars.

    History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931 ;– CL 1948, 750.226 Former Law: See section 4 of Act 372 of 1927, being CL 1929, § 16752.

    Section: Previous 750.224 750.224a 750.224b 750.224c 750.224d 750.224e 750.224f 750.226 750.226a 750.227 750.227a 750.227b 750.227c 750.227d 750.227f Next

    Last modified: February 21, 2012

    A threat must have happened for the thought of those charges. I believe it to be a felony to have guns on school property. My prayers do go out to his family. This is tragedy.

  • suzanne green

    this whole town needs a doctor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! u know u in dowagiac when someone makes a mistake and everyone gets all dramatic, exaderate like no one has a life, then take wut everyone says(not there own knowlege) twist it until the next victom comes!!!!i laugh at that missary!!!

  • Becky

    This is such a sad story!!! I just remember how many times, over and over and over again, we heard at the schools…zero tolerance!!!! I feel bad if he really just forgot about the guns being in his vehicle but it all goes back to the responsibility that he had to follow the law!!!! Hopefully this will die down and they will figure it all out!!!!

  • biff lohman

    They don’t need to show intent. Leave your guns and knives at home, genius!

  • Tracy Wesaw

    I can see how to a 17yr old removing hunting gear might be overlooked or thought of a not important because he had no wrong intent. I was once 17….that’s why I know this. If they were IN th school, different story. Did school officials ge a TIP from someone saying he was going to use them to hurt or kill students or school faculty??

  • sdfas

    last time i checked you don’t use a rifle for trap shooting?!

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