PRINCETON, North Carolina – A North Carolina honor student and Eagle Scout was suspended from school and faces felony charges after accidentally leaving a shotgun in his pickup truck in his school parking lot.
Fox News Radio reports that Cole Withrow, from Princeton, North Carolina, had been skeet shooting with friends over the weekend, and when he went to grab his backpack from his pickup on Monday morning, he noticed the shotgun had been left inside.
Instead of leaving school grounds Cole locked up his gun then went to the front office to call his mother for help, family friend Kimberly Boykin told Fox News.
“He didn’t know what to do,” Boykin said. “If you jump in the truck and leave, then they get you for skipping school. Once you are there you have to stay.”
Someone overheard Cole talking to his mom about the shotgun and notified school authorities, who found the shotgun in his locked truck.
“The law is very clear when a person knowingly and willingly brings a weapon onto educational property,” Johnson County Schools spokesperson Tracey Peedin Jones told Fox News. “The situation was turned over to law enforcement immediately.”
Cole was suspended for one year and won’t be able to walk with his graduating class. He also faces felony gun charges for bringing a weapon onto school property.
Cole’s community is rallying behind him, even setting up a Facebook page to support him. He has been offered a scholarship from Liberty University in Virginia.