A missing student who is believed to be armed has caused lockdowns at Washington College, his former high school, and a host of other schools in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The missing man is sophomore Jacob Marberger, 19. On the morning of November 16, Marberger’s parents contacted Washington College to tell them that they believed their son had “retrieved a firearm” from the family home outside of Philadelphia. The school is located in Chestertown, Maryland.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Had Just Returned to School After a Suspension for ‘Pulling a Gun on a Fraternity Pledge’
One of Marberger’s class mates told CBS Baltimore “From what I know is that he hazed a potential member of his frat, basically, and pulled out a gun on him. Everybody kind of thought it was a joke, so it was kind of let go. And then it was brought up to public safety later that week.” The Washington Post reports that Marberger resigned from the fraternity after the incident. The newspaper says that the gun used was a .22 caliber seven-shot revolver, an antique from the early part of the 20th century. Even still, it is on the restricted weapons list in Maryland.
According to his Facebook page, Marberger is a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Washington College.
Meanwhile his father, Jon, told NBC Philadelphia that his son had served his suspension and was cleared by a psychiatrist a week before he vanished. He added that at around 3 a.m. on November 16, Marberger had gone into their family home in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, and took a rifle from the home. Jon and his wife were sleeping when the theft occurred.
When he was last seen, Marberger was driving his green 1997 Range Rover. He has not made any threats against the school. He’s 5-foot-4 and weighs around 130 pounds. Washington College has asked anyone who knows his whereabouts to call the college at 410-778-7810 or Chestertown Police at 410-778-7810. He’s wanted in Kent County, Maryland, relating to four charges “Dangerous weapon on school property, handgun on a person, possession of a firearm by a minor, illegal possession of ammunition. They are from an incident stated to have occurred on or about October 21 through October 29th.”
2. Marberger Had to Resign His Position of Speaker at the Washington College Senate
In his interview with NBC Philadelphia, Jon Marberger said that on November 15, his son resigned his position as speaker at the Washington College Senate. Jon said that role “meant a lot” to his son. He added that his son is an only child and is close with his parents.
3. According to His Facebook Page, Marberger Owns an AK-47
On his Facebook page, Marberger is a member of numerous pro-gun groups, including a group for owners of AK-47s. A photo gallery on the Washington College website shows Marberger at a Gun Show art exhibition in February 2015, one photo has the caption “Jacob Marberger ’18 discusses his stance on gun rights and the Second Amendment with Provost and Dean Dr. Emily Chamlee-Wright.”
He’s a fan of conservative writer Frederick Forsyth as well as the ACLU. He worked for a time at his father’s optometric practice in Glenside, Pennsylvania.
His father told NBC Philadelphia that his son has been collecting antique guns for the last and is fascinated with metallurgy. After Marberger was suspended from his school, his parents locked the gun locker in their home and made sure their son didn’t have a key. They’re not sure how he got access to it on the morning of November 16.
According to his LinkedIn page, Marberger is a native of Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Cheltenham High School there. That school was put in lockout on November 16 as the search for Marberger went on, reports NBC Philadelphia. His father told that station that after hearing about lockout at the high school, Jon wondered if the search for his son was “spinning out of control.”
4. One Student Called Marberger an ‘Outspoken Guy’
Speaking to CBS Baltimore, one classmate of the suspect said “He was an outspoken guy. He’s very intelligent. He was on the senate. He was a nice guy from what I saw.” Meanwhile some of his friends have taken to Twitter to ask Marberger to let everyone know he’s okay:
In addition to being involved in Greek life and student politics, Marberger is also involved in theater at Washington College, according to several Facebook posts.
5. Washington College Will Remain Closed Until Further Notice
Despite reports that the school would reopen on November 17, Washington College remains closed, and will do so until further notice. Students who live on campus are being asked to stay in their dorms and are being escorted to the dining hall, reports CBS Baltimore. The school is also receiving help from people in the community, according to their Facebook page.
There are around 1,500 students enrolled at the school.