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Man arrested at Sandy Hook Elementary in Virginia

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Local,Virginia,Crime,Ben Giles

A man who walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Virginia's Shenandoah County holding a 4-foot-long board labeled with the words "high powered rifle" was arrested for disorderly conduct, according to authorities.

Christopher Gerrit Johnson, 33, was arrested at the school in Strasburg, which is located about 80 miles west of the District, according to Shenandoah County Sheriff's Maj. Scott Proctor.

Johnson walked through the school's front doors at about 11:40 a.m. Wednesday carrying the lumber, and was quickly approached by a school administrator before he was detained by a school resource officer without incident, he said.

Johnson never had any contact with children at the school, and a search of Johnson and the car he drove to the school did not turn up any weapons, Proctor said. Authorities said his only connection to the school appears to be that it's in the same town he lives in.

"We don't know what his intentions were, but it seems to be a statement bringing attention to school security," he said. "No one should enter a school and cause disruption or fear."

Johnson was charged with one count of disorderly conduct and is being held without bond, Proctor said.

The incident comes less than a week after the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history left 27 people dead -- including 20 children, six staffers and the shooter at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Victims at the school in Newtown were gunned down with a semiautomatic .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle.

bgiles@washingtonexaminer.com

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