POSTED: Friday, April 20, 2012 - 1:45pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 20, 2012 - 1:49pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — A Virginia high school teacher faces a dozen felony charges for allegedly firing a blank gun in a classroom.
It happened at the Neff Center in Abingdon earlier this month.
Washington County Virginia Sheriff Fred Newman said the 60-year-old teacher lined up a dozen students in a welding class and fired the blank gun in their direction.
So far, investigators won't say why.
It's a hard lesson for teacher Manuael Dillow; he's now facing 12 felony charges for brandishing a firearm on school property.
"One for each student who was in there. And basically the charges result of inciting fear into the students," said Sheriff Newman.
Sheriff Newman said it was a "blank firing handgun" and that everything is realistic about the weapon, except it cannot shoot bullets.
Dillow borrowed the firearm from a teacher in another department.
Sheriff Newman explains what allegedly happened after that, "he basically lined the students up in some form or fashion, displayed the weapon and discharged the weapon in the direction of the students," he said.
Newman says between four and ten shots were fired at the students. No one was hurt, but those students were very frightened.
Washington County Virginia Public Schools Superintendent Jim Sullivan confirmed the firearm was a teaching aid for a criminal justice class taught at the center.
Sullivan said right now Dillow is not working and since it's a personnel issue he couldn't comment on his future.
Sullivan would not comment on how long Dillow has been a teacher at the Neff Center.
According to the Sheriff, if convicted on the charges Dillow could get prison time or a fine.
Dillow has been released on a $20,000 unsecured bond.