One day after a gunman opened fire at a DeKalb County school, fears of school violence hit Cherokee County when an armed man was found Wednesday morning outside the Cherokee Charter Academy.
Todd Kristopher Grigg, 31, of Woodstock was arrested and charged with six counts after Cherokee Sheriff’s deputies noticed him acting suspiciously at the school in Canton and found that he was carrying several weapons, said Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
The deputies were at the Charter Academy on Sixes Road working morning traffic and apprehended Grigg, who has an extensive criminal history, after he ran away when they tried to question him, authorities said.
When arrested, Grigg had a BB gun resembling a semi-automatic handgun, three knives and a set of leather gloves, Baker said.
The man was taken in for questioning and told investigators he was at the charter academy, where several of his relatives go to school, waiting for a ride, Baker said.
“He further advised investigators that he ran from the deputies because he knew he was in a school zone and was armed,” Baker said.
Lt. Col. Ron Hunton, field operations commander for the Sheriff’s Office, said Wednesday afternoon the investigation into Griggs and his statements explaining why he was at the school is ongoing.
“I think it’s pretty obvious, No. 1, that’s a strange place to wait for a ride when you’re carrying a BB gun and straight-edged weapons,” Hunton said. “It’s certainly suspicious.”
Especially considering the shooting in DeKalb on Tuesday, Hunton said, the Sheriff’s Office is taking Wednesday’s incident seriously.
“The detectives are busy doing some follow-up work on this gentleman, on his background and also on the location where he’s currently residing,” Hunton said, adding that search warrants will likely be taken out on Grigg’s home.
Hunton said incidents like the one in DeKalb make police particularly concerned of potential violence at schools.
“I’m certainly not saying this guy was a copycat by any means,” Hunton said. “But the timing of it certainly is suspicious.”
Detectives are also looking into the Grigg’s criminal history, which includes “quite a few arrests,” Hunton said.
Grigg has been arrested in Cherokee County five times on charges including DUI, battery, obstruction of a 911 call, criminal trespassing, giving a false name to law enforcement and reckless conduct, Baker said.
In Cobb County, his arrest count is even higher at seven, according to the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office.
Nancy Bodiford, spokeswoman for the Cobb Sheriff’s Office, said Grigg’s charges in Cobb include possession of a concealed weapon, stalking and more obstruction and criminal trespassing.
In 2007, he was also charged with DUI in Pickens County, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office said.
After the incident Wednesday morning, Hunton said the deputies met with school officials at the Cherokee Charter Academy to ensure that no other suspects were inside and found none.
Baker said Grigg was charged with four counts of possession of a weapon on school grounds, carrying a concealed knife and obstruction of an officer, Baker said.
He is being held at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center without bond, Baker said.