Cleveland High School senior arrested on school property with loaded gun and other weapons, sources say

JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Cleveland High School senior was arrested on school grounds with a loaded 9mm gun, two loaded magazines, several shotgun shells, a folding knife and brass knuckles, according to sources in Johnston County.

"It's crazy. It's unbelievable because we have a great atmosphere here at Cleveland. So it's hard to believe," student Kaleb Slawinski said.

The student, 18-year-old Donovon Maurice Covington, was arrested around 11 a.m. after another student called in a tip.

Covington was booked on weapons possession charges--a felony for the gun and a misdemeanor for the knife. In addition, the Johnston County Sherif's Office charged Covington with communicating a threat of mass violence on educational property.

His bond has increased from $10,000 to $60,000.

"It never dawned on me that it could happen here, because like I said we have such a positive environment here at Cleveland that would have been the last thing I would think that would happen here," Slawinski said. "But then again it's always a possibility no matter, because it has happened so many times across the United States."

Captain Chris Strickland with Johnston County Sheriff's Office said authorities are still investigating why Covington brought the weapons to Cleveland High School and also where he obtained them.

Sheriff Steve Bizzell praised the concerned student who tipped off authorities.

"The tip we received this morning just shows that everyone wants safe schools for students and staff," Bizzell said.

"(The tipster) did save lots of lives. There were about 460 of us that were out there practicing," Slawinski said. "I heard it was a senior that was out there, so if that had happened it would have been insane. It would have been very hectic, chaotic."

The students were out practicing for graduation. Cleveland High School graduation is scheduled to take place Friday.
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