LAKE CITY, Fla. – The father of a Columbia High School student reached out to News4JAX after his son was arrested for bringing a gun to school. He said while his son committed a crime, it was in self-defense and his son had no intention of carrying out a school shooting.
Nicolas Moreland, 17, was arrested on Friday when the gun was found. His father Julius Moreland says the gun did not come from their family or anyone affiliated with their family. “I’m really not at liberty to say. I really don’t want to comment on that because ongoing investigation. I can assure you it didn’t come from us. Anyone close to our family,” he said.
Julius Moreland said there have been threats to his son and he alluded to gang activity in and around the school and he wants the public to know his son was using the gun for self-defense. “Every situation is not about a mad person that’s going to try to do something massive. Sometimes people react just out of fear,” said the teen’s father.
News4JAX also reached out to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office about these claims of gang activity in Columbia High School. They sent us this statement:
“The Sheriff’s Office is aware that there are some students in our schools who claim gang affiliation. We work very closely with school officials and other law enforcement partners to keep our campuses as safe as possible and will always work diligently to investigate any concern involving school safety. The measures that have been in place have proven to be effective in not only this most recent incident, but in preventing other potential incidents like this as well. Sheriff Hunter is firm in his commitment to our community that if you bring a gun to school, you will be arrested and charged accordingly.”
As of Monday afternoon Moreland said his son is still incarcerated in Columbia County and charged with possession of a firearm on school campus.