16-year-old causes concern following what he calls a pro-gun message on Snapchat

Posted at 10:25 PM, Feb 28, 2018

OWEN COUNTY, Ind. -- An Owen County mother says her son will not be going back to high school because of how he's being treated following a post he made on Snapchat featuring an assault rifle.

"I posted it because I thought it was funny and because it was pro-gun," said Marcus Padgett, Sophomore, Owen Valley High School

The post the 16-year-old shared shows an assault rifle, with the text, "waiting for it to go out and start killing people... still hasn't moved."

"It wasn't a threat. It's simply saying guns don't kill people. People kill people. It's the evil behind the gun. It's not the gun itself," said Tabitha McKeeman, Marcus' mother.

The school district contacted police about the Snapchat post and officers came to Marcus's house to search for weapons. All they found was a pellet rifle.

"We might have been on the scene for 20 minutes. We conveyed to him how important it is to think before you post that kind of stuff on a social media site," Officer Austin Combs, Spencer Police Department.

Police did not arrest Marcus and said he posed no threat, but the teen says people are now calling him a school shooter.

"The whole town of Spencer and the school look at me like a psycho. I get dirty looks at work. Everywhere I go, I get dirty looks," said Marcus.

His mother says the school suspended her son but Superintendent Chad Briggs says that's not true. 

"They have drug his name through the dirt. I just want people to realize that you share a meme, it doesn't mean that you are going out to hurt people," said McKeeman.

Knowing what he knows now, Marcus says he probably would not post the picture again.

Marcus is not going back to Owen Valley High School for now. He is working at his part-time job in the evenings.

His mother says they'll probably have to leave town. Marcus says he wants to eventually join the military.

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