Mom reports her son to cops fearing he's going to shoot up his school after he stole her gun
Classes at two high schools in the vicinity were canceled as a precautionary measure after police were alerted about Burton but were unable to locate him
A mother from Illinois reported her only son to the police after he stole her firearm and got him arrested on Friday because she was afraid he would open fire at his school.
The woman, Marshanice Mackey, said that she called the authorities in Belleville after she became aware that her 18-year-old son, Derek Burton, was upset about his girlfriend.
Reports state that Burton's girlfriend told Mackey that he had made comments which suggested that he might commit suicide. Mackey was alarmed and, when she looked for her handgun, she found it missing and called the authorities.
Investigators later found out that Burton had allegedly made threats against some students at a local high school on Tuesday, according to KMOV.
Police said that Burton had confronted multiple students from Belleville East High School in the parking lot of a Circle K in Shiloh. He had also allegedly pointed his gun at the students during the confrontation and made threats.
KSDK-TV reported that classes at two high schools in the vicinity were canceled as a precautionary measure after police were alerted about Burton but were unable to locate him and grew alarmed.
Mackey, while talking about her son, said: "I just want everybody to know that this is totally out of my son's character. This is nothing he'd do, and I need to get his name cleared."
"And that's me as a parent," she said, "because I know what kind of son I've raised. I raised a really wonderful son. This was something that, as a mother, I felt needed to be done."
Burton was eventually located and arrested early on Wednesday morning. He was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of threat against a school or a person, according to reports.
Mackey later said that other parents in her situation may not have done what she did and it is important to know that it could happen to any parent.
"You know, that's why we have a lot of school shootings. Because a lot of parents don't agree that we need to set certain structures for their children. They think, 'That's my son, so I'm not going to call the police on them because I don't want them to get caught up in the system.' That's not going to be the case with me,'" she added.
While giving advice to other parents who suspect their children's behavior, she said: "Pay more attention to your children, be aware of their surroundings."
"Reach out to your kids, you just have to know your children if you don't know anything else."