Student in school bus shooting appears in court

CHAPEL HILL Aaron Small, 18, walked into court after prosecutors say on Thursday he discharged a .22 caliber handgun on a school bus at Chapel Hill High School.

A prosecutor said Small was not on his assigned school bus, but this time was riding a bus shared by two other students he had previously fought with.

The prosecutor said Small tried to pull a gun out of his pants and instead fired it into his pocket. The bullet slightly injured his leg, ripped a hole in his jeans and damaged a bus bench. Small then fled into a nearby wooded area.

The prosecutor also said Small tried to change clothes, told police he was someone else and would not say where he bought the gun.

"I think it would be very easy for Mr. Small to buy another gun," prosecutor Lamar Proctor said.

Still an Orange County magistrate issued a bond of only $15,100, which Small posted Thursday afternoon.

The magistrate also apparently did not know that Small failed to appear on a hit-and-run charges in Wake County in January.

"The prior efforts to obtain his presence have been unsuccessful," Judge Charles Anderson said.

The prosecutor asked for a new bond of $50,000, but the judge settled on $30,000. The public defender suggested Small, a senior at Chapel Hill High School, was not even living in the school district. He relocated from Orange County to Raleigh.

Chapel Hill is rated a school of distinction, but some students thought the gun incident was gang related. The mother of one student who was allegedly targeted by Small says no way.

"Just want to clear up it wasn't gang related and I think justice has been served here and that's all I want to say," she said.

Small is charged with possession of a weapon on school property and discharging a weapon on school property.

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