Education

West Harrison High student had gun in his waistband — and more in his backpack, sheriff says

West Harrison High School
West Harrison High School Sun Herald / 2009

A West Harrison student is in custody after authorities say he showed up to school Tuesday with knives and other weapons in his backpack and a gun in his waistband, Sheriff Troy Peterson said.

The unidentified 16-year-old student was pulled out of class at the end of the school day after other students told officials about the gun, Peterson said.

The school resource officer searched the teen and found a small caliber handgun in his waistband as well as two throwing stars and two knives in his backpack, Peterson said.

The teen now faces a felony count of possession of a weapon on school property and four misdemeanor counts of possession of a weapon on school property, Peterson said. He's being held without bond at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Center, pending a Family Court Detention Hearing.

"There's no reason to believe the teen intended to harm anyone," Peterson told the Sun Herald. "The school resource officers said they talk to him nearly every day, he was personable and a good student, so why he brought he brought the weapons to school is not clear."

West Harrison announced the arrest on the school's Facebook page at 2:45 p.m.

"This afternoon, a student was immediately arrested after it was reported and discovered that he had a firearm, five rounds of ammunition and 3 edged weapons," the Facebook post said. "All students and staff are safe and were never threatened."

The school commended the students who reported the situation to administrators.

"We urge parents to have a conversation with their children about the importance of reporting anything suspicious, and remind them to never take any weapons to school," the school said.

The arrest came four days after a deadly shooting by a student at Santa Fe High School in Galveston County Texas. Ten were killed and 13 were wounded, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, a junior at Santa Fe High, faces charges of capital murder and aggravated assault against a public servant. He was taken before a judge for formal charging on Monday.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2326, @patrickochs


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