**This article has been corrected to state that Lowe said “the gun’s magazine was loaded when it was found,” rather than “an ammunition clip was in the gun when it was found.”
The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office has charged a Louisa County High School teacher and coach with possession of a firearm on school property.
Automotive class students found a pistol Friday afternoon in the trunk of DaVell Smith’s car while students were servicing his vehicle as part of a class project.
Major Donald Lowe reported that the gun’s magazine was loaded when it was found. He confirmed that Smith does have a concealed carry permit.
“We did not find any type of criminal intent,” Lowe said. “Even with the absence of criminal intent, it requires us to charge.”
Doug Straley, superintendent of schools, said that parents of all 13 students in the class were called on Friday evening to make them aware of the incident.
A letter will be sent home to the parents of all high school students Tuesday when school resumes after being closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Day. The school division provided The Central Virginian with a copy of the letter that will be sent out by the school principal (Click here to read the letter)
“I have been in contact with the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office since this incident occurred, and both the high school administration and the [sheriff’s office] believe there was no ill intent on behalf of the employee,” Straley said. “Regardless, this type of incident calls for a full investigation and we are going to cooperate with the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office every step of the way. “
Smith, 28, who is also president of the Louisa Education Association, has been placed on paid administrative leave while the matter is being investigated.