DOVER – A 19-year-old Wesley College student was arrested early Tuesday afternoon after being found with a semi-automatic handgun in a classroom, court papers said.
Vaughn M. Reese, of Slatington, Pa., was charged with felony carrying a concealed deadly weapon after campus security was initially alerted by two students who had seen the loaded firearm the night before at an off-campus apartment, the arrest report and school officials said.
Wesley security personnel and Dover police contacted Mr. Reese at 12:34 p.m. while he was in a Budd Hall classroom, papers said. Dover Police Department Capt. Tim Stump said he was arrested without incident.
The gun was loaded with one round in the magazine but none in the chamber, police said.
“You take every precaution (regarding weapons reports) and the mere fact that a gun was on campus is alarming,” Capt. Stump said. “But it was dealt with by Wesley campus security, which handled it well. It was addressed and taken care of, with a good resolution relative to the serious nature of a weapon being involved.”
School spokeswoman Jessica Cook said the students first spotted the gun in Mr. Reese’s backpack the night before. No college students or staff members were in danger during the incident, according to Ms. Cook.
“Two alert students reported to the Wesley security office that another student had seen a loaded handgun in a student’s book bag the previous evening at an off-campus apartment,” Ms. Cook said in an email on Wednesday afternoon.
The weapon was described as a .25-caliber semi-automatic Titan handgun in the affidavit of probable cause. Capt. Stump said the handgun was in the Dover PD’s possession as evidence.
School officials said no information was available regarding Mr. Reese’s year in school and activities at Wesley.
Mr. Reese could be subject to Wesley College disciplinary action due to his felony weapon arrest, the school said.
“All students who are arrested are subjected to the campus judicial process,” Ms. Cook said.
Ms. Cook said the school considered the incident as an isolated occurrence and “we are constantly evaluating safety and security on campus.”
According to the Wesley College student handbook, “using or possessing ammunition, firearms or items that resemble firearms (including paintball guns), illegal knives (knives with blades longer than five and one-half inches, hand instruments designed to cut or stab another by being thrown, stilettos, poniards, bowie knives, swords, and/or spears) or other illegal weapons on college property are prohibited.
Mr. Reese was also charged with a felony possession of a weapon in a safe school zone, a Class G felony. He was committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna in default of $4,000 secured bail.