Mother charged with pointing gun at school

by: Chris Seward, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Updated:

Claudia Flowers-Vassell

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga.,None - A Lithonia woman was arrested and charged with pointing a gun several times at an Arabian Mountain High School parent earlier this week, DeKalb County authorities said Friday.

Claudia Flowers-Vassell, 39, turned herself in Thursday and was booked on three counts of pointing or aiming a firearm at another person, said  Sgt. Jeff Perkins of DeKalb Schools Public Safety, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The incident occurred before school started Tuesday.

Police were still trying to determine why  Flowers-Vassell, a parent who had just dropped off a student, allegedly pulled her 2008 Honda Civic alongside a vehicle driven by Karolyn Browden of Decatur and encouraged Browden to "bring it on" before pointing the gun at her, Perkins said.

Browden was dropping off a daughter and the daughter's friend at the Lithonia school on Browns Mill Road when the incident occurred, police said. Browden told police she didn't know what caused Flowers-Vassell to allegedly brandish the gun.

Joye Burton, a DeKalb schools spokeswoman, said the two students in Browden's  car ran to the school to tell Principal LaShawn McMillan. By the time McMillan reached the parking lot, Browden had already called DeKalb police, and Flowers-Vassell had left.

DeKalb authorities attempted to question Flowers-Vassell about the incident on Wednesday, but she would not discuss it after arriving at their office on Memorial Drive, Perkins said.

Perkins said several photos were taken of Flowers-Vassell, and Browden and the two students with her later identified the Lithonia woman from a photo lineup.

Flowers-Vassell turned herself in to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department on Thursday, Perkins said. She remained in custody Friday afternoon.

In a note to parents on the day of the incident, McMillan said no one was injured during the incident. The principal said the school takes the safety and security of students very seriously, and that the school has increased patrol of the student parking lot.

McMillan also asked students to provide information if they know about Tuesday’s incident.

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