An Illinois mother called the police and had her son arrested because she was afraid he was about to commit a school shooting.
Marshanice Mackey said she called authorities in Belleville after she learned her 18-year-old son, Derek Burton, was upset about his girlfriend.
Investigators discovered that Burton allegedly made threats against students at a local high school late Tuesday, KMOV reported.
Belleville is a suburb of St. Louis.
The girlfriend told Mackey that Burton made comments indicating he was suicidal. When Mackey noticed that her handgun was missing, she called the police.
Marshanice Mackey said she called authorities in Belleville after she learned her 18-year-old son, Derek Burton, was upset about his girlfriend
According to police, Burton (center) confronted several students from Belleville East High School in the parking lot of a Circle K in Shiloh. During the confrontation, Burton is alleged to have pointed his gun and made threats
According to police, Burton confronted several students from Belleville East High School in the parking lot of a Circle K in Shiloh.
During the confrontation, Burton is alleged to have pointed his gun and made threats.
Classes at two local high schools were canceled as a precaution, KSDK-TV reported.
When police were unable to locate Burton, they grew alarmed and recommended that classes be canceled.
School officials shut down classes at Belleville East and West High Schools when they were told about the danger by police.
‘I just want everybody to know that this is totally out of my son’s character,’ Mackey said.
‘This is nothing he’d do, and I need to get his name cleared.
‘And that’s me as a parent,’ she said, ‘because I know what kind of son that I’ve raised, and I raised a really wonderful son, and that was something that as a mother I felt needed to be done.’
Burton was arrested early Wednesday morning.
He has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of threat and one count of a threat against a school or a person.
Mackey says other parents in her situation may not have done what she did in turning their own children into authorities.
Still, it’s important to know that it could happen to any parent, she says.
‘Pay more close attention to your children, be aware of their surroundings,’ she said when asked what advice she would give to other parents.
‘Reach out to your kids, you just have to know your children if you don’t know anything else.’
She said: ‘You know, that’s why we have a lot of school shootings. Because a lot of parents don’t agree that we need to set certain structures for their children, or, “That’s my son so I’m not going to call the police on them because I don’t want them to get caught up in the system,” let that happen.
‘That’s not going to be the case with me.’