Cumberland Times-News

January 4, 2013

Rockwood man charged for having pistol inside Turkeyfoot high school

Was licensed to carry weapon, not a threat, police say

Patrick Buchnowski
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat

— SOMERSET, Pa. — The man who authorities said walked into a Somerset County high school last month with a pistol in his pocket was charged this week with committing a crime.

State police in Somerset charged Charles V. King II, 41, of Kanaul Road, Rockwood, with possession of a weapon on school property, a first-degree misdemeanor.

He also faces a summary charge of criminal trespass.

King, who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, allegedly entered Turkeyfoot Valley Area High School on Dec. 14 to pick up a student when someone in the office noticed a pistol sticking out of his back pocket, state police Cpl. William Link said.

“We’re trying to make it clear the weapon was not waved around,” Link said. “He did not go in there to make a point or threaten anyone.”

Coincidentally, the incident occurred the same day as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, which left 20 students and six staff members dead.

The Turkeyfoot incident prompted school district officials to call a public meeting that night to reassure parents that there was no danger to students.

State police and investigators from the Somerset County sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices completed a two-week investigation.

Investigators reviewed video surveillance, which shows a sign stating that weapons are prohibited in the building, District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser said.

“Based on those circumstances, we felt charges were warranted,” she said.

King faces up to five years in prison and will have his license to carry a concealed weapon revoked, Link said.

State law makes it illegal for anyone other than law enforcement officials performing their duties to carry weapons on school property.

Link said that King understands why he was charged.