Mom: Son fearful for his life days before bringing gun to school

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

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FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - The mother of a Sandy Springs student charged with bringing a gun on campus said he was fearful for his life in the days leading up to the incident.

Fulton County school police arrested the 13-year-old last Monday after he showed the gun to fellow students at Ridgeview Charter School, according to a police report obtained by Channel 2's Mike Petchenik.

According to an arrest report, the student made a statement that he was going to "shoot someone at the school."

Ayde Martinez said the boy came to her the Friday before the incident asking her to remove him from the school.

"He just said, 'Mama, you don't know, when I left the bus, you don't know how they attacked me, how they said offensives comments. They want to hit me,'" she recounted of his statement to her.

Martinez said her son purchased the gun from someone on Buford Highway for "protection." She said she believes her son is being unfairly judged for what happened, and she said he denies ever threatening anyone.

"He doesn't know how to use a gun," she said. "I don't know if he learned."

The incident report indicated her son admitted to being in a street gang. Petchenik found pictures of the teen on his Facebook page that depict the youth throwing up gang signs and one picture with a caption reading: "Gangster Life."

"We don't tolerate gang activity in our classrooms," Fulton County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa said Friday.

Head of district security Mark Muma told Petchenik school police have a close relationship with the Sandy Springs Police Department and are trained on how to deal with gang activity. He said students believed to be taking part in gang activity who get in trouble are required to take a course with their parents on the issue as part of their disciplinary action.

The situation so concerned Sandy Springs City Councilman Tibby DeJulio that he emailed the city's police chief last week asking his department to intervene in some way.

"If there's any place in your life your children should be safe, it's in their school," he told Petchenik. "It's a horrible situation."

An email from Police Chief Ken DeSimone to City Council members indicated the city police were reaching out.

"Yes, we have gotten involved," DeSimone's email read. "We have assigned one of our officers who is a gang specialist and luckily also runs the Police Explorers program."