An open gym day last weekend at Hobbton High School turned into a near free-for-all that ended in a heated exchange between students on both teams, a shot fired into the school’s ceiling and two men jailed on assorted felony charges, including inciting to riot.
A cooperative investigation into the incident by the school’s resource officer, school officials and the Clinton Police Department is being credited for the arrest of Victor Ray Register and Daven Demetrice Darden.
Darden, 22, of 114 Pierce St., Clinton was jailed under a $50,000 bond Thursday, charged with inciting to riot, discharging a firearm on educational property, discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, carrying a concealed weapon, injury to real property, disorderly conduct, assault with a deadly weapon and assault by pointing a gun.
Register, 20, of 51 Loop Road, Clinton, was also taken into custody and charged with inciting to riot, disorderly conduct and assault inflicting serious injury. He was jailed under a $5,000 bond.
The incident began last Sunday, April 28, during an open gym day at Hobbton, offered as a way to allow students time to come into the school for recreation.
During the event, Sheriff’s Cpl. Marcus Smith said, students from both teams got into a heated exchange and, at some point during the confrontation, Register is believed to have struck a student in the jaw.
School officials asked Register and Darden to leave campus and, Smith said, as the two were heading out of the gym, the metal door slammed shut being them.
Monday, the incident was reported to school officials and the SRO, and an investigation was initiated. During the probe it was discovered that as the two suspects exited the gym, Darden reportedly pulled out a weapon and fired a single shot into the ceiling in the hallway just outside the gym door.
Smith said the school official overseeing the incident was not aware that a shot had been fired, thinking the loud noise that was heard as the pair left the gym was the metal gym door slamming.
“Through hard work and cooperation with school officials, the Clinton Police Department and the School Resource Officer, both suspects were identified and charges were brought against them. I commend all of those involved in the investigation for their hard work and diligence in bringing the two suspects involved into custody,” Smith said.