Teen Found With Loaded AK-47 on School Bus After Driver Smelled Marijuana on Student: Cops

A high school student in North Carolina was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with possessing a loaded AK-47 on school property and possession of marijuana after the scent of the drug caused the search that revealed the firearm.

A school bus driver carrying students for Northeastern High School and River Road Middle School alerted an assistant principal that one of the students on board had a noticeable smell of marijuana when the students were getting off the bus at the middle school around 9:20 a.m. Wednesday.

The school's resource officer was notified and conducted a search of the student. A pistol-grip AK-47 with a loaded 30-round magazine and marijuana were discovered, according to The Daily Advance in Elizabeth City.

Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten said during a Wednesday press conference that the student, not named by Wooten because of age, faces juvenile petitions of felony and misdemeanor charges of possessing a firearm on school property, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and deliver, and carrying a concealed firearm and knife.

North Carolina, AK-47, Marijuana
A North Carolina high school student was taken into custody Wednesday after allegedly being found in possession of a loaded AK-47 and marijuana on school property. Above, a bump stock is installed on an AK-47 at Good Guys Gun and Range on February 21, 2018, in Orem, Utah. George Frey

Wooten said the fast actions of the school administrators and local law enforcement, along with the fact that the bus driver notified school officials, stopped the potential of something that "could have been a terrible nightmare for our community."

Eddie Ingram, interim superintendent for the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public School system, said the incident was handled as well as he had ever seen in a situation like it. Ingram also said district officials will evaluate whether any school or district policies should be changed following the incident, with the focus on keeping students safe.

The middle school and high school were placed on lockdown to allow law enforcement personnel to conduct searches, Wooten said.

The incident comes after recent school shootings and other threats across the country that caused closings at over 500 schools in the days following a shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan that left four students dead and at least eight injured, and has seen the 15-year-old who allegedly committed the shooting and his parents arrested on a variety of charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.