Authorities say William Lawrence Bethea Jr. was caught when he tried to run away from a traffic stop in the area of Hobson Road Tuesday morning. Two passengers also fled.
Deputies say Bethea was holding a stolen handgun as he tried to make a break for it, and tossed it into a wooded area.
Investigators later learned Bethea had been on the campus of Hoke County High School with the gun.
Bethea has been charged with felony possession of stolen property/firearm, felony possession of a weapon on educational property, and misdemeanor possession of a handgun by a minor.