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North Pitt student, foster father face weapons charges

Posted March 3, 2011

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— A Bethel man was charged Wednesday after his foster son brought a firearm to North Pitt High School, according to the sheriff's office.

Investigators said a Crime Stoppers caller tipped them off that a student might be bringing a firearm to school. School resource officers seized a weapon from David Alexander Vanheeren, 17, investigators said.

Vanheeren was charged with felony possession of a firearm on educational property, felony possession with intent to sell or distribute a controlled substance, carrying a concealed firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a weapon on educational property.

His foster father, Chadwick Ellis Brown, of 242 of Nelson St., was charged with failure to store a firearm from a minor.

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  • pebbles262004 Mar 4, 2011

    yeah "he was a good kid"...LOL ask his teachers

  • Leeca Mar 4, 2011

    Poor judgement on the father's part but seriously WRAL, when are you going to report on the GOOD things foster parents do???

  • bear2010 Mar 3, 2011

    I DONT LIKE GUNS AROUND TEENS!!!NUFF SAID

  • mrshairgenie Mar 3, 2011

    nc1state....North Pitt High School is where BOTH of my daughters and my husband graduated from. It is a good school with good kids and the staff is most excellent. What has happened there was a tragedy. David is a neighbor of mine. He and his "foster" parents attend the same church as my family and I do. Good folks...no question! Our community is stunned about this, however, this child is a good kid. Whatever happened, who knows? Sometimes, kids do things we as parents will NEVER understand. Chad's fault..no way! David needs prayers instead of discouragement and hatred. So do his parents. Please don't judge this family if you don't know them. Bottom line...he did something terribly wrong. Thank GOD no one was hurt. He was caught and now he will not only pay the consequences, but also he can get help for this. His "foster" parents are the best thing that EVER happened to him. I'm sure he is very sorry. Please keep this family in your prayers!

  • alwaysab Mar 3, 2011

    People please read that the story states "FOSTER" Father. This is not the biological father and by state laws is held to a higher standard than the biological father would be. Obviously this child has had some issues and was placed where the state thought he would get help and be safe. People like this do not get enough thanks, but when you do something like this, it gives "Foster-parents" a bad rep. Regardless of how the boy got the gun, it was he's foster-parents responsibility to secure the weapon. And if it was a gift to the child, then maybe the foster-father should be charged. You can't give a troubled teen a gun.

  • nc1state Mar 3, 2011

    North Pitt - Nuff Said

  • NCworkingwoman Mar 3, 2011

    even "safely secured" a 17 year old could figure out how to get the gun. not the father's fault. - WhoReallyCares

    While that is true, we don't know the specifics of this situation. If the gun was "safely secured" (in a gun safe for example) and the 17 year old broke into the safe and got the gun out, then yes I could see how that would not be the father's fault. But if the gun was in an unsecured location...under the bed, top of the closet/bookcase (or anywhere other than a gun safe) then the father should be charged. Just my opinion.

  • WhoReallyCares Mar 3, 2011

    even "safely secured" a 17 year old could figure out how to get the gun. not the father's fault.

  • makeitright Mar 3, 2011

    put the drug dealing son away and slap the parent hard... 17 years old, not like the father should have to lock up the gun from him.

  • ncsuecu Mar 3, 2011

    A seventeen year old knew right from wrong. Throw the book at both father and son. We could have another Colorado incident in NC.