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Police in Greensboro, North Carolina, arrested a 27-year-old man last week they say brought several guns, around 1,000 rounds of ammunition and numerous other weapons—including knives and a crossbow—onto the campus of state college North Carolina A&T and started threatening security guards, in the latest troubling incident at a U.S. school or university.
Brandon James Bentley was taken into custody on March 26 after “chasing unarmed security guards on the campus” and “making threats to law enforcement,” the Greensboro Police Department said in a statement Monday.
A search of Bentley’s vehicle uncovered two handguns, two shotguns, a rifle, a crossbow, a machete, a stun gun, knives, choking devices, pepper spray, brass knuckles and other weapons, according to police.
Bentley was charged with multiple counts of possessing weapons and an explosive on educational property—related to firecrackers found in his vehicle—along with carrying a concealed weapon, driving with a revoked license and reckless driving.
North Carolina A&T said in a statement to WXII-TV that Bentley was spotted on campus at around 4 a.m. on March 26—a Sunday—and “no longer constituted an ongoing threat to campus safety.”
Police said Bentley made an initial court appearance on March 27—a police spokesperson and the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office did not state whether he entered a plea or bonded out of jail, though his name did not appear on a Guilford County Jail inmate roster Monday.
It is not immediately clear if Bentley has an attorney.
North Carolina A&T says it is the country’s largest historically Black college or university, with an enrollment of 13,487.
What We Don’t Know
Police did not publicly identify a motive.
News of Bentley’s arrest comes amid renewed debate about access to guns in the U.S., along with mental health and school safety, following a deadly shooting at a Christian elementary school in Nashville. Authorities said 28-year-old Audrey Hale fired more than 150 rounds in a rampage last month, killing three adults and three 9-year-olds before being gunned down by police. Democrats like President Joe Biden have again called for stricter gun control measures following the shooting, like an assault weapons ban, while Republicans have balked at the idea and have instead called for tougher security at schools. The year is also off to a historically fast pace for mass shootings in general. As of Monday, there have been 136 mass shootings in the U.S.—defined as events with four or more casualties—in 2023, according to the Gun Violence archive. Meanwhile, a string of historically Black colleges were forced to close their campuses last year due to bomb threats.
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