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Georgia teacher gets prison time for firing a gun inside a classroom

Jesse Randal Davidson, a former teacher at Dalton High School in Georgia, was sentenced to two years in prison and eight years probation for barricading himself in a classroom and firing his gun. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

A Georgia teacher was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to charges related to him barricading himself in an empty classroom and firing a gun, WXIA-TV reported.

The teacher, 53-year-old Jesse Randal Davidson, pleaded guilty to first degree criminal damage to property, carrying a weapon within a school safety zone, and disrupting the operation of a public school.

Davidson's actions caused a panicked evacuation of Dalton High School when he locked students out of his classroom and fired a .38 caliber handgun.

In addition to the prison time, Davidson will be on probation for eight years after he gets out. He won't be able to possess a gun or work in school or supervisory roles that put him in charge of children. He will also be banned from Whitfield and Murray  counties while on probation, and will have to undergo mental health treatments regularly.

Suicide by cop?

Davidson, who had several troubling or peculiar incidents at the school before the gun situation in February, was a popular teacher with a clean criminal and ethical background.

That day, however, police believe Davidson was trying to force them to kill him in order to commit "suicide by cop."

Davidson brought his gun to school, taught his first period class as normal, then locked his door during the planning period. When students arrived for third period, Davidson refused to open the door and warned students he was armed.

The incident occurred just two weeks after 17 people were killed by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, adding to the panic surrounding the threat.

Strange behavior

The long-time teacher had been described as "delusional" by police in the past, after confessing to his role in an apparently nonexistent murder of a woman he said he was having an affair with. He also told police he was thinking of hurting himself, and that he was on depression medication.

Davidson was also found sitting, unresponsive, on a curb one day in January 2017 after being reported missing from the school.

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