Crime & Courts

Student arrested after gun fires in class

ROCK HILL -- A York Technical College student faces charges after a gun he was carrying in his pocket discharged during class.

Jeremy Moffett, 19, of York was arrested Wednesday after a semi-automatic Smith & Wesson handgun fired a round during a class in the Construction Trade Center, a satellite building on South Wilson Road, according to Rock Hill police. He is charged with carrying a weapon on school property, carrying a pistol unlawfully and discharging a firearm within city limits.

Moffett told police that he fell asleep during the class and that the gun fell from his pocket and fired when it hit the floor, the report states. The report adds that Moffett later said he was holding the gun in his pocket and accidentally pulled the trigger.

After the gun fired, Moffett left the class and put the gun in the trunk of his mother's car, according to the report.

Rock Hill police Lt. Brad Redfearn said the incident appears to be accidental and that Moffett didn't intend to hurt anyone.

Moffett told The (Rock Hill) Herald on Thursday that he'd gone out the night before to run errands and gave the gun to his mother for protection because the power was out at his house. He said he got the gun back Wednesday morning and put it in the pocket of a jacket. He wore that jacket to school, he said, forgetting the gun was in the pocket.

Moffett said he realized he had the gun about five minutes into class but decided to stay in class and go to sleep because he felt “loopy” from some pain medicine his dentist had prescribed. That's when he says the gun fell from his pocket. Moffett denied telling police that he was holding the gun and accidentally pulled the trigger.

“When you hear ‘rude awakening,' that was a rude awakening,” he said of the gun's firing. “I was scared. … I'm lucky, and I thank God…that nobody got hit.”

York Tech canceled Wednesday's classes at the Wilson Street site and suspended Moffett pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.

State law prohibits anyone from bringing a gun onto a college campus without authorization.

-- The (Rock Hill) Herald