NORTH COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL INCIDENT
On Monday, February 4, 2013, at approximately 1:45 p.m., a custodial employee of North County High School, 10 1st Avenue East, Glen Burnie, Maryland 20161, noticed suspicious activity at the school. The employee heard the sound of an unknown person pulling on an exterior door handle; the custodian inferred this as someone trying to enter the school in an area not normally used by visitors. The custodian used a school-based radio to call for assistance from the School Resource Officer (SRO) assigned to North County High School.
The SRO immediately went outside to search the school grounds. As he was making his way around the expansive building, he received word that an unknown adult male followed a school employee inside the building via a rear door near the school’s loading dock. School officials who had already been alerted to the presence of a possible intruder quickly located and challenged the male. They escorted the male to the school’s office, where the SRO met them and began an investigation.
The suspect, later identified as 25-year-old Justin Matthew Beaumont from Glen Burnie, indicated he is a former North County High School student. Beaumont did not make any threats to harm anyone at the school nor were any weapons or illegal items found during a search of Mr. Beaumont and his vehicle, however, an empty handgun holster was found inside his car. No firearms or ammunition were present. Beaumont’s account of his reasons for being at the school included indications he had been subjected to bullying during his enrollment; he also made inquires about school security and referenced his previous military experience.
As result of his unauthorized presence at North County High School, Beaumont was charged with Trespassing on Posted Property, a misdemeanor offense, and later released. Although there were no other criminal violations noted at the scene, recent violent and tragic events throughout the nation, coupled with Beaumont’s statements and actions, led the School Safety Section Commander to contact Colonel Larry W. Tolliver and apprise him of the extremely unusual and alarming circumstances of this incident. Colonel Tolliver immediately directed Northern District Detectives, and all other necessary police department resources, to investigate Beaumont’s activities prior to his arrival to North County High School on February 4, 2013.
Northern District Detectives learned Beaumont is the lawfully registered owner of several firearms, including an AK-47, an Uzi assault weapon and three handguns. Based on the totality of the circumstances and the Mental Health Evaluation Article, Detectives applied for and received a search and seizure warrant for Beaumont’s home and vehicle. The search warrant was intended to hold Beaumont’s firearms for safekeeping pending his evaluation by mental health professionals.
Upon service of the search warrant, detectives recovered the AK-47 rifle under Beaumont’s bed. The weapon was loaded with a 30 round magazine. An Uzi was also found under Beaumont’s bed; it was not loaded. Two unloaded 8 MM bolt action rifles were found in a case under the bed. An unloaded Jennings .22 caliber handgun was found in a box under the bed, and a loaded Kel Tec .380 handgun equipped with a laser sight was found between the bed’s mattresses. A 9 MM barrel and silencer, along with ammunition and numerous ammunition magazines were additionally recovered. These weapons and materials have been taken into police custody for safe-keeping pending additional investigation.
According to school officials, Justin Beaumont attended North County High School for only two months in 2002 before transferring to a different high school. He is currently undergoing medical treatment, and at this time, it appears all weapons and ammunition were legally owned.
As with every incident, lessons are learned and improvements are made. With notable exception of the suspect entering a door that should have been pulled completely shut, school officials and the SRO reacted quickly, appropriately and effectively to ensure the intruder was confronted and unable to encounter students.
This incident and subsequent investigation, although potentially alarming, illustrates the commitment to school safety and partnerships between the Anne Arundel County Police Department, Anne Arundel County Schools, the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center and other federal agencies. What began as a misdemeanor trespassing offense continues to be thoroughly investigated to ensure students, staff and visitors remain safe at our schools.
Suspect: Justin Matthew Beaumont, 25, of the 6000 block, Eiderdown Road, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061
Charged with: Trespassing on Posted Property