Beaufort teen charged with assault after firing gun at Burton bus stop

mmcnab@islandpacket.comApril 30, 2013 

Byron Michael Habersham

A Beaufort teenager is in custody, accused of threatening to kill a 17-year-old boy and firing a gun at his feet at a school bus stop Tuesday morning, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

Byron Michael Habersham, 18, was charged with first-degree assault and battery and presenting/pointing a firearm after he threatened to kill another teen with whom he has been feuding, Sgt. Robin McIntosh said.

Habersham is a student at the Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence but lives in the Battery Creek High School zone, according to Beaufort County School District spokesman Jim Foster. He usually takes a bus to Battery Creek each morning, then catches another bus to ACE.

Habersham pulled out a handgun at the bus stop after arguing with the boy, McIntosh said. He fired one shot near his feet as they stood at the intersection of Churchdale Drive and Joe Frazier Road at about 7 a.m. Tuesday, she said.

Accounts of what happened next differ slightly.

Habersham went home after firing the round and returned to the bus stop without the gun and boarded the bus, McIntosh said. However, Foster said Habersham did not board the bus to Battery Creek, but somehow wound up at the school to catch his ride to ACE.

After the incident was reported to the Battery Creek school resource officer, the school was put on alert and the bus to ACE was searched by the officer, who found Habersham onboard and took him into custody at 7:30 a.m., Foster said.

Habersham was initially charged with attempted murder, but the charges were reduced when investigators determined he only fired the round to scare the 17-year-old, not hurt him.

Foster said the school will decide what to do about Habersham today, after school officials see the incident report.

McIntosh said Habersham has feuded with several teenagers in his neighborhood. An incident report filed in February referenced a fight between Habersham and the boy he is accused of threatening.

No one was injured in the incident Tuesday. The investigation into the incident and the feud continues.

Habersham is being held for prosecution in the Beaufort County Detention Center, according to the jail log.

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