Barrow school bus driver arrested after student finds gun on way to school

Mary Jo Hall
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Mary Jo Hall

Credit: Barrow County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Barrow County Sheriff's Office

A Barrow County school bus driver was arrested Tuesday morning after a student on her bus discovered a gun and bullets inside a purse, authorities said.

Mary Jo Hall, 59, of Statham, is charged with one count of possession of a firearm on school grounds, according to Barrow County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Maj. Ryan Sears.

The student, who attends Sims Academy in Winder, was trying to identify the owner of the purse when they discovered the weapon on the way to school, Sears said. The student immediately took the purse to the front office and notified administrators about the weapon.

Officials alerted the school resource officer and an investigation was launched. Hall was arrested after police determined the gun belonged to her, authorities said.

“At no time were the students or faculty in any danger,” Sears said. “This is an isolated incident that was handled immediately upon the front office being notified of the weapon.”

It wasn’t immediately clear where the gun was found on the bus in relation to the driver. Hall remained at the Barrow County jail without bond Tuesday afternoon.

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