Teen facing weapons charge is accused of bringing loaded gun to metro school

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A student is now charged with bringing a loaded gun to his school, after Jackson County prosecutors said he set off a metal detector during a random security screening.

Melvin Counce, 18, is facing one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon for carrying a concealed handgun.

Prosecutors said last week Counce showed up to Baptiste Educational Center in the Hickman Mills C-1 School District and set off a metal detector twice during a random security screening.

Court records show a school employee asked Counce to remove his coat, and inside his pocket found a loaded semi-automatic handgun, a magazine with seven live rounds, and a plastic bag with additional ammunition.

The district’s director of security took Counce into custody and questioned him about the gun. Court records show the teen admitted to hiding the gun in his jacket and knowing it was illegal to bring a firearm on school property. He said he stole the firearm from a 13-year-old boy earlier in the morning who had previously stolen it from his girlfriend’s mother.

Ruth Terrell, director of public information and partnerships for the school district, declined an interview with FOX 4 about the incident; however, she provided the following statement:

“Exactly one week ago tomorrow, during a impromptu safety check at Baptiste Educational Center, a weapon was found on a student while entering the premises. The weapon was immediately confiscated, and taken in custody. The student was held accountable in accordance with the District's disciplinary standards and letters were sent home to parents to inform them of the incident.

Because of protocols and procedures in place, our team was able to handle the situation immediately and at no time were students in danger. The administration and staff takes the health and safety of all students seriously and are pleased that the established procedures worked in maintaining student safety at all times.”

Counce is due in Jackson County court for a preliminary hearing on December 3.