A 55-year-old Cusseta man arrested at Chattahoochee Middle/High School early this morning after officials found two handguns on school grounds, according to a news release from the Chattahoochee County Sheriff’s Office.
Melvin John Shively was apprehended in the staff parking lot around 7:36 a.m. this morning in relation to the incident that led officials to place the school on a “soft lockdown,” confirmed Chattahoochee County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Smith, the school’s resource officer.
Shively was charged with two counts of possession of a weapon on school property, criminal trespass and disrupting school operations. He was placed in the Chattahoochee County Jail.
According to the combined accounts from Smith and ChattCo Superintendent David McMurry, two school employees saw what they determined to be a suspicious man in the staff parking lot around 7:30 a.m. as students were arriving for classes. Smith was notified at 7:32 a.m. and, along with an administrator, questioned the man in the parking lot.
Smith then started the search that resulted in Shively’s arrest. Deputies were on the scene by 7:36 a.m., Smith said.
The administration placed a school on a “soft lockdown” from 7:30 to 8 a.m., as a precaution, meaning all outside doors and classroom doors were locked and nobody was allowed to enter or exit the building but school activity proceeded as normal.
Deputies took Shively into custody after finding a handgun on him and another in his vehicle. The investigation determined that he isn’t affiliated with the school or related to anyone there, Smith said, but he declined to disclose the reason why Shively was on the campus.
“During the investigation there has been no evidence that anyone was being targeted or that Mr. Shively intended harm to any students or staff,” officials said in a news release.
McCurry praised the two employees for reporting the suspicious activity and for the officials’ quick response.
“They were vigilant,” McCurry said.
“We couldn’t ask for anything better,” Smith said of the way the situation was handled.
McCurry said he alerted all ChattCo parents and guardians through an automated phone message and explained the lockdown and its reason.
“It was just mainly to help reassure everyone,” McCurry said.