Christopher Johnson, a criminal justice teacher at Kokomo Area Career Center in Kokomo, Ind., resigned in May 2012 from the position he had held for five years. The district said that, despite his decision to leave, there were no issues -- that is, until a student in Johnson's former classroom found a loaded gun hidden in the ceiling nearly 10 months after the teacher's departure.
On March 8, the weapon was discovered after a pupil noticed it stored in the ceiling. After learning about the finding, Johnson inevitably turned himself into the Howard County Criminal Justice Center, WXIN-TV reports.
The school's communications manager, David Barnes, explained what happened following the bizarre incident.
"One of the students was holding up a tape measure and bumped the ceiling (and) saw there was something there," Barnes said, calling the guns presence a "pure act of irresponsibility."
WXIN-TV reports that Johnson's account of how the gun made its way into the classroom ceiling is somewhat scattered. The teacher told officers that he assumed his ex-wife had the gun and that he had not seen it in years; if he had brought it to the school, he said it was unintentional.
"Mr. Johnson said he did not remember putting the gun in the ceiling," the court document reads.
He apparently added that it would have been logical for him to store the gun in the ceiling in an effort to keep it away from students (if he brought it in the first place).
In an interview with the outlet, the former teacher stressed the importance of due process and declined to give additional information.
"The only thing I’ll say is we have a system that says that we’re innocent until proven guilty," he told WXIN-TV. "I believe in that system and all I would ask is that the media and the public believe in that system too."
For now, Johnson will be forced to rely on the legal system to learn his fate, as he's been charged with possessing a firearm on school property (a felony) and criminal recklessness (a misdemeanor).
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