Student Enters School Wearing Vest; Sets Off Investigation

Lakeland, Florida Oct. 18, 2007 - Shawn Newberry, 18, was arrested Monday after Lakeland police found a stash of ammunition, drugs and a videotape at his house. Four other people in the videotape may also face charges, according to State Attorney Jerry Hill.
The State Attorney says more people may be charged after a raid at a house in Lakeland turned up ammunition, computers, a videotape and substances believed to be marijuana and cocaine.
The investigation started when 18-year-old Shawn Newberry showed up to Life Skills Center on E. Memorial Boulevard wearing a bulletproof vest.
When asked why he was wearing the vest, school officials say Newberry's answers were “evasive”. A campus security officer at Life Skills called police.
Officers arrived and interviewed Newberry, who bragged about firing off at least 1000 rounds of ammunition each weekend and told them he owned a flack jacket, which is a form of clothing designed to protect from shrapnel.
On October 10, officers searched Newberry's home on Selkirk Lane North and found computers, many rounds of ammunition of various calibers and substances believed to be marijuana and cocaine. Officers also recovered a camera that contained a video of Newberry and three other males engaged in mock target practice sessions. In the video, the four of them allegedly defaced property around Polk county while a female laughed and videotaped.
The State Attorney says it's possible the four other individuals on the videotape will also face charges.
At Newberry's house, officers also found evidence that he had purchased an M18 taser, three Vector Arms AK-47s, a shotgun, Clear Out grenades, a tactical helmet, a gas mask and about 2000 rounds of ammunition. All of the purchases had been made since January, officials said.
Newberry was arrested at Life Skills on October 15.
State Attorney Jerry Hill says Newberry had enrolled in the alternative learning school just five days prior to the day he wore the bulletproof vest. Before that, Hill says, it appears Newberry had not attended school since the sixth grade.
Even though the state attorney says no direct threats were made against the school, Life Skills says letters were sent home to parents notifying them of the incident.
The State Attorney's office filed charges against Newberry for armed trespassing, grand theft and criminal mischief.

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