A mother thwarted what could’ve been another school shooting when she notified police her suicidal son made threats, left home and her gun was missing.
According St. Louis’ KMOV, Marshanice Mackey called authorities at 1AM on May 23 and told them her son, 18-year-old Derek Burton, said he’d shoot up his school after getting into an argument with his girlfriend. Mackey’s call prompted law enforcement to close Belleville East and Belleville West High Schools.
Officers then began searching for Burton and learned he threatened students at Belleville East High School. The teen reportedly confronted more students at a local parking lot. Police later found Burton near the parking lot and his mother’s missing gun was returned home.
Mackey says the decision to call police was a difficult one, but a necessary one.
“You know, that’s why we have a lot of school shootings,” she said to KSDK. “Because a lot of parents don’t agree that we need to set certain structures for their children, or, ‘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,’ let that happen. That’s not going to be the case with me.”
Burton was arrested and faces a bevy of charges including with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of threat and one count of a threat against a school or a person. Yet Mackey still stands by her son.
“He’s not a bad kid, he’s done something and he’s made a mistake,” she said.