Man in Federal Custody For Bringing Gun Into Cumberland School
Posted August 15, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
SPRING LAKE — A school resource officer arrested 38-year-old Bobby Lee Bellamy Monday, and now he is in ATF federal custody. Authorities say Bellamy ran into Spring Lake Middle School with a gun.
He faces two federal charges: felony possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm on school property.
"We felt this was the best way to go to get the most time if convicted of these crimes that he can get. We want to send a message that if it happens again, we're going to press for the most time for whoever it may be, and hopefully it won't happen again," said Sheriff Moose Butler.
According to investigators, Bellamy ran into a classroom full of eighth-graders and sat at a desk around 10:20 a.m.
He told the teacher that someone was chasing him and that they were out to get him. The teacher immediately realized he was an intruder and that he had gun.
The teacher was able to lure the suspect outside the classroom and take him to the principal's office without a struggle or a fight.
"She convinced him 'Let's walk up to the office and see if we can't find somebody to help you,'" explained Principal Robert Lucas.
Bellamy handed over a loaded, .25 caliber automatic handgun to school authorities.
"The young man had calmed down at that point. He voluntarily handed the gun over to Mr. Hill, the assistant principal, and Mr. Hill, at that point, gave me the gun," said Lucas.
A school resource officer then arrested Bellamy
The sheriff says other than placing barricades at the front door, he does not know how this could have been prevented.
"I don't know how you could stop a person from running into the school and going to a classroom unless an officer was standing at the door, saw him coming and put a hold on him at the door," said Butler.
Officials credited the teacher with diffusing a potentially deadly situation.
"We have a good crisis management plan, and the teacher responded according to the things we've talked about," said Lucas.
The suspect will go before a federal magistrate Tuesday in Robeson County.
If convicted, Bellamy could get 10 to 15 years in prison.
The suspect got into the school through a side door. That door is normally locked except on the first day of school.