A University of South Carolina freshman who had been settling into his dormitory will now be spending time away from school after five guns were allegedly found in a bag in his closet.
The student, who has been identified as 17-year-old Trevor Scott Stephens, has been suspended and ordered to avoid contact with any students, faculty or staff, St. Andrews Patch reports.
According to WSPA, university police received a tip and found the guns after searching Stephens' dorm room at the USC Maxcy Residence Hall.
The following weapons were seized, per the State:
- Smith & Wesson .38
- Taurus .38
- GSG 1911 .22
- Highpoint 9 mm
- Glock 17 9 mm
Stephens was taken to the Richland County jail and was later released, WLTX reports.
“We have no reason to believe he was planning an attack, and we have not heard that he was threatening anyone,” Scott Prill, associate director of USC's Division of Law Enforcement and Safety, told the State.
However, the teen could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for having the guns on campus, the State reports.
USC housing policy specifically prohibits possessing a "firearm or other weapon" on campus. Such an offense could potentially lead to "permanent removal" according to the USC housing FAQ.
Some of Stephens' friends have taken to Facebook to discuss the case at "Pray for Trevor Scott Stephens," a page created Wednesday with 175 "likes" and counting.
One person who identified himself as a friend of Stephens said:
we all know he is a good person but he made probably the stupidest decision of his life and he deserves what he gets. I don't wanna be a dick cause he's my friend but this is a very serious thing he did.
The comment was "liked" by eight people.
The page has also received negative comments, but its owner, who is unknown, said to one, "I didn't make this page for criticism so if u have such a major problem please don't bring negative stuff. We r trying to stay positive."
The page describes itself as follows: "[Stephens] was arrested and is currently facing charges... He is a good person and I want to make this page to prove he is a good person."
The issue of guns on campus has been an ongoing debate across the country. One professor's recent comments that he would dismiss his class immediately if a gun was found in the classroom led to his university's chancellor to denounce the remarks, saying that the implication "directly violates Colorado law."