A Virginia man who teaches at a vocational school was arrested Wednesday for allegedly firing a blank handgun at 12 of his students. An investigation by Washington County authorities revealed that Manuael Ernest Dillow, 60, fired the gun at the Neff Center in Arbingdon earlier this month, reported the Kingsport Times News.
Dillow allegedly told students in his wielding class to line up near a garage door, pulled a blank-firing hand gun, from the waistband of his pants and fired the it towards the line of students at least four times, reported NBC affiliate WSLC News. Washington County Sheriff Fred Newsman has confirmed in a press release that the incidents took place on April 4, and police was notified by the school's superintended Jim Sullivan.
Dillow now faces 12 felony charges of brandishing a firearm on school property, one for each student who was in there, according to Sheriff Newman. None of the students reported any physical harm; the charges are for inciting fear into students, reported NBC affiliate WCYB News.
Sheriff Newsman also revealed that Dillon borrowed the firearm from another teacher in a different department. Superintendent Sullivan claimed that the firearm might have made its way into the Neff Center for academic reasons. We have a criminal justice class and it's normal to have a blank pistol there or a training gun, he told WCYB.
The charges have been classified as Class 6 felonies, with each count punishable by up to five years in jail and a $2,500 fine, reported Fox News. Dillow has been released on a $20,000 unsecured bond and awaits a hearing date scheduled for May 7.