PERRY HALL, MARYLAND - In his official blog, Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson wrote Friday that last week's shooting in Perry Hall High School could have been far worse, had Robert Wayne Gladden, Jr., been able to get his hands on more weapons stored at his stepfather's home.
Chief Johnson added the alleged 15-year-old shooter's couldn't to gain access to eight guns at ammunition that were locked away in a safe in the residence of Andrew Piper. Baltimore County Police discovered the arms cache when they searched Piper's home in the 8500 block of Bradshaw Road after the shooting.
A convicted felon, Piper was legally prohibited from possessing firearms and has subsequently been charged.
Gladden, according to Johnson, was well aware of the weapons, but could not unlock the safe. However, he was able to gain access of a 40-year-old Western Field double-barrel shotgun from the Hawthorne home of his father, which police say he used to critically injure classmate Daniel Borowy. The 17-year-old special education student remains in critical condition at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock-Trauma Unit.
"The Perry Hall shooting shows that not securing unloaded weapons - while legal - is dangerous as well," wrote Johnson. "I encourage gun owners to do more than the law requires by securing all weapons, loaded or unloaded. This is neither difficult nor expensive; there are many affordable gun-locking devices on the market…If you are a gun owner, I hope that is one of the lessons you take away from what happened at Perry Hall High this week."
Maryland law requires gun owners to secure loaded firearms from children 15 and younger.