CRIME

Gun pointed at Culpeper County school bus, five in custody

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Five people have been charged after Culpeper County Sheriff's Office officials say a person pointed a pellet gun at a school bus Wednesday morning.

Authorities say that just after 8 a.m., they received reports that an individual was pointing a gun at a school bus in the area of A.G. Richardson Elementary School and Pearl Sample Elementary School, which sit side-by-side on James Madison Highway south of downtown Culpeper.

No students or staff members were injured or in danger during the incident, officials say, and after making contact with five people about it, all five were apprehended.

The following individuals were arrested and charged:

- Michael P. Rhodes, 33, of North Wilkesboro N.C., is charged with drinking in public, profane swearing or intoxication in public and pointing/brandishing a firearm, or an object similar in appearance, (in such a manner so as to reasonably induce fear) within 1,000 feet of a school.

- Sarah J. Alexander, 24, of Millers Creek N.C., is charged with drinking in public and pointing / brandishing a firearm, or an object similar in appearance, (in such a manner so as to reasonably induce fear) within 1,000 feet of a school.

- Tyler L. Hamilton, 20, of North Wilkesboro N.C., is charged with drinking in public and pointing / brandishing a firearm, or an object similar in appearance, (in such a manner so as to reasonably induce fear) within 1,000 feet of a school.

- Corey J. Ester, 20, of Wilkesboro N.C., is charged with pointing/ brandishing a firearm, or an object similar in appearance, (in such a manner so as to reasonably induce fear) within 1,000 feet of a school.

- Joshua D. Sigler, 19, of Culpeper, is charged with accessory to point, hold or brandish a firearm, or an object similar in appearance, (in such a manner so as to reasonably induce fear) within 1,000 feet of a school.

Deputies say the suspects were shooting at a target they placed in a bush at the rear of the hotel parking lot. The Sheriff's Office says they are working to determine who aimed the pellet gun at the bus.

All of the suspects, except for Sigler, are completing contract work in the area. Sigler met the four through a mutual employer, deputies say. 

"We want to reassure parents that their children are safe at both schools," Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins said.

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