Suspect in custody after viral video of fight at Perry Hall High School, weapon recovered
PERRY HALL, Md. (WBFF) -- UPDATE: Baltimore County Police have arrested Darren Keith Bennett Jr., 18, in reference to the Perry Hall High School fight that occurred on January 18 in the parking lot, and went viral on social media.
Police and school officials reviewed surveillance footage and were also made aware of the existence of a photograph from the scene of that incident, that appeared to depict a male holding what resembled a firearm.
Through extensive investigation, police and school staff were able to determine that a male subject had retrieved what appeared to be a long gun from a vehicle parked near the scene of the incident.
Detectives were able to quickly identify and arrest Bennett, who is from Nottingham, Maryland.
At the time of his arrest, police recovered and seized an Airsoft weapon. The weapon matched the weapon observed in the photograph originally given to police.
Bennett is charged with possessing a weapon on school property, disturbing school operations, and disturbing the peace. He is currently being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center and was denied bail.
Extra police officers were at the school Friday.
Police tell us 911 calls started coming in about the fight around noon Thursday.
“There is a grave concern with this case with the possibility this could have been a lot more violent than what it was,” says Baltimore County police spokesperson Shawn Vinson.
“It really is scary,” says parent Heather Locklear. “It scared me especially when I saw how big that gun was and I saw there was a gun."
Locklear’s daughter showed her the video after school Thursday.
“Someone posted it to snapchat, one of her friends,” the mom says.
She shared the image and video warning parents.
“I shared it with one person and it just went viral,” she says.
“We’re using that video as a part of our case and we’re looking at this point also to identify who is responsible for the weapon you can see in the video,” Vinson says.
Police aren’t sure if the gun is real or not but say the threat is taken seriously.
“We did have an increase in patrols throughout the day,” says Vinson. “We’re going to continue and keep an eye on everything."
They’re working to identify those involved in the fight and the person holding the gun.
“We have identified some of the witnesses who were around in that area,” says Vinson. “We are trying to determine what led up to the fight and who was involved in it.”
“We are aware some current students of Perry Hall were identified,” says state delegate Christian Miele. “It is the belief there may be some former students involved as well. That’s all part of the ongoing investigation."
Miele says he’s prepared to host a town hall meeting after the incident.
“I’ve talked to our school board member who’s asked the board of educatio to convene a special meeting to address this issue and respond accordingly."
Meanwhile parents are questioning the school’s response. Locklear says they weren’t notified til hours later and were never told about the weapon.
“Regardless if it’s a fake gun or not, it scared us as parents because we’re at a home, anything could happen at the drop of a hat, A child could get shot. We don’t know about it til later on when they decide to tell us."