Student Brings Handgun into High School Classroom

Student Brings Handgun into High School Classroom

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Whit Johnson reporting One teenager has put a Salt Lake school on alert, and some parents are just now finding out about it.

Student: "It makes you wonder, if he's carrying a gun some other people might be carrying a gun."

The teenager and his gun even got into a Highland High School classroom. But an anonymous tip stopped any deadly threat before it started.

Both police and school administrators say the situation could not have been handled more smoothly. They say they have the students to thank.

It was a seemingly normal afternoon at Highland High School; except the buzz and conversation came with an unfamiliar fear.

Student: "A guy just brought like a .45 and I was like yeah right that stuff wouldn't happen here"

Student: "Kind of scared. It just kind of made my heart jump a little bit that someone would actually bring it to school"

Police arrested a 16-year-old boy when they caught him with an unloaded handgun in his backpack.

Principal Paul Schulte says they were on to the boy Tuesday, when another student told administrators about the gun. Then on Wednesday, almost immediately after students and the boy arrived at school, campus police made their move.

Det. Robin Snyder / Salt Lake City Police Department: "They were able to take it off him very quickly, but it still is concerning to us because we want to make sure our children are safe at all times especially at school."

There was no struggle or resistance from the boy. The boy told Highland High the gun was for protection.

Student: "I don't want to end up getting shot at school because school it's supposed to be a safe place to be."

Principal Paul Schulte / Highland High School: "I would encourage all students no matter what school they go to that if they think there might be an issue to talk to an adult."

Principal Schulte says students communicating with teachers is the first line of defense.

Principal Paul Schulte / Highland High School: "No one can say that's it's always going to be safe you can get caught off guard, but if your going to look at how you want the different pieces to work together this is what you want."

Student: "I guess it's comforting to know that they caught the person with the gun, but it's pretty easy to get into school with a gun and that's nerve-racking, that's scary."

The 16-year-old is currently being held at a juvenile detention center. He had previous criminal charges, and now will add three misdemeanors and one felony to the list.

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