Bus driver faces charge over not reporting gun

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A misdemeanor charge has been filed against the Vicksburg Warren School District bus driver already fired after being accused of failing to report a 13-year-old girl with a handgun on or near his bus Jan. 29.

David Jackson, 46, 5112 Commons Circle, was arrested at his home Monday, said Sheriff Martin Pace. State law requires school employees to report certain events, including weapons possession. Jackson was released after posting a $1,000 bond.

The driver lost his job last week over the incident, which took place as he drove students from Grove Street School home at the end of the day.

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His arrest followed investigations by both deputies and school officials, who disagreed slightly as to the details but were clear that the girl had the gun on school property.

The girl, who was not identified because she is a minor, was arrested on the felony charge of being in possession of a weapon on school property. She was placed in the custody of Warren County Youth Court, which conducts closed proceedings.

Authorities believe Julius De’shun Mobley, 17, 4900 Rollingwood Estates Drive, provided her with the gun, and he also was arrested Jan. 29 after turning himself in to deputies and surrendering the weapon, Pace said. He was released Jan. 31 after posting $5,000 bond.

Pace said the 13-year-old argued with another juvenile while riding the bus and made a phone call to Mobley, apparently asking him to bring the weapon, a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol and give it to her at a bus stop on Gibson Road near Rollingwood Estates.

The bus was taking home 11 to 14 Grove Street students in first through 12th grades, Sims said. Grove Street is an alternative school for children as young as kindergarten who require instruction that can’t be given in a traditional classroom setting.

School resource officer Dewayne Sims said his investigation did not show conclusively that she had the pistol on the bus. “What we could prove was she was at the bus stop with it,” Sims said. “There was some confirmation that some students did see her with a weapon.”

Pace said interviews conducted by detective Randy Lewis indicated the girl did take the weapon onto the bus. “We determined that she got on the bus (at the bus stop) with the gun and then got back off again,” he said.

Whether actually on the bus or just at the bus stop with the weapon, the girl was considered to be on school property and the driver should have informed authorities, Pace said.

The incident was reported to the sheriff’s department by the parent of another student on the bus.

Pace said today the investigation is believed to be complete and no additional charges or arrests are expected. Warren County Justice Court hears misdemeanor cases. Punishment can include a fine and no more than six months in jail.

Contact Pamela Hitchins at phitchins@vicksburgpost.com