GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) – A man who showed up to the Gloucester County School Board meeting with a gun forced the meeting to go into lockdown Tuesday and halted it in its tracks.
Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office told 10 On Your Side they are investigating an incident at the meeting after Trevor Herrin said law enforcement officers stopped him when he left the meeting.
“One of the law enforcement officers, I figured, noticed I was carrying concealed,” Herrin said.
Herrin was at the meeting to address the board about his tire being slashed.
He said he spoke at the June School Board meeting where he voiced his support for his friend and School Board member Darren Post.
“He asked us to attend the June School Board meeting to support him because the School Board would be discussing a parents’ bill of rights,” Herrin said. “He was proposing also discussing his committee assignments.”
He told the board in part, “I think it would behoove you guys as someone with a little experience in elected politics myself to look in the mirror.”
Herrin said after these comments he found damage to his truck.
“I was the last person to leave other than staff and School Board members,” Herrin said. “When I got out to my truck, I found one of my tires were flat. I inspected the tire and found a seven- or eight-inch gash clearly made by a knife.”
He felt it was a School Board member who did it, though that has not been proven.
That prompted him to show up to the meeting again Tuesday night.
“I would strongly recommend caution and reflection before engaging in anything like that, especially with someone you don’t know with capabilities you don’t know,” Herrin told the board.
He said his peace and went to walk out.
“As soon as we walked out of the door, we got swarmed by probably, by like, seven law enforcement officers,” Herrin said.
The situation outside prompted the meeting to go into lockdown.
“At this time we cannot release anyone from the auditorium until we get a future all clear form some folks in the parking lot,” one School Board member told the audience.
Herrin said he was confronted by law enforcement about his concealed weapon.
“This is a school. You can’t have guns here,” he said he was told. “I looked around and said, ‘it doesn’t look like a school to me. There are no signs.'”
Herrin told 10 On Your Side’s Lauryn Moss he didn’t know it was a gun-free zone.
According to Gloucester County Public Schools facilities use manual, the Thomas Calhoun Walker Education Center where Tuesday’s School Board meeting was held is outlined as a school facility. It’s under a list of other schools in the category of school rental. The manual described what to do if you want to reserve one of the school facilities.
Under the important information headline, one of the bullet points said, “NO illegal drugs/alcohol/tobacco/electronic cigarettes/weapons of any kind are allowed on school property.”
The Thomas Calhoun Walker Education Center also is home to the T.C. Walker Head Start program, according to the Virginia Department of Social Services.
Virginia Code states that it’s illegal to possess a weapon on school property. That includes public, private and religious school property like a daycare center, elementary school or property used exclusively for school-sponsored functions.
That’s what concerns a resident, who reached out to 10 On Your Side. She didn’t want to be on camera, but told us this is frightening. She said Gloucester County Public Schools has actively been taking measures to secure school buildings. She said the last thing anyone would want is to have people armed at school board meetings.
For Herrin, he said he consulted an attorney, who he said told him the sheriff is reaching on his claims that this was a school-sponsored function.
He wants an apology and his guns back.
“First of all, I would like an apology for all of this,” Herrin said. “I would like my tires paid for. I would like my firearms returned.”
In a statement, Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office told 10 On Your Side that “many of you have inquired and/or seen on social media that an incident occurred at our local School Board meeting on 07/11/23 involving an individual possessing a firearm on school property. This case is active, and we are currently conducting interviews and consulting with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office to bring resolution to this matter. We are currently not answering any questions regarding this matter however, we should have resolution soon and will release more details at that time.”