14-year-old in custody after bringing gun, 100 rounds of ammunition to school

14-year-old in custody after bringing gun, 100 rounds of ammunition to school
A student notified officials about the weapon. (Photo source: WLOX)
A student notified officials about the weapon. (Photo source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A 14-year-old student is in custody after police say he brought a loaded gun, more than 100 rounds of ammunition, extra magazine and a mask to school on Thursday. 

Parents waiting in the car line were anxious to pick up their children from North Gulfport 7th and 8th Grade School after getting a surprising call earlier in the day. 

"I received a message from the principal stating that a child in eighth grade had a weapon, and that they arrested the child and no students were hurt," said Talicia Corlett, the parent of a seventh grade student. 

Lunch was wrapping up around noon when a student approached Principal Regina Lewis and said another student had a gun in a classroom. Lewis jumped into action.

"I immediately called the police officer that we have on campus, went down to the classroom, got the kids and the teachers out and they went in and found the gun," said Lewis. 

After police led the student out of the school they learned that along with the gun, the student was also carrying 100 rounds of ammunition. Lewis says it all happened in a matter of minutes.

The principal says she's grateful for a student reaching out to her. 

"I want to say I commend that student because a lot of students feel as if 'Oh, I'm afraid to report, oh I can't report.' But that student reported it, and it was jumped on," said Lewis. "We did it expeditiously and it was just done."

Parent Rico Parish thinks the gun should have been caught before it ever even entered the school. 

"You would think that they would have metal detectors, or something like, that to make sure that the students aren't bringing weapons to class," said Parish. 

The incident happened less than 24 hours after three people were shot just around the corner off Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Gulfport, leaving many parents to rely on their faith to keep their children out of harms way. 

"I just have to pray every morning that the kids come safe and get home safe every day," said seventh grade parent Ta Mclaurin, 

School officials told WLOX News Now that normal procedure will be practiced tomorrow at school on Friday.

Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania released the following statement:

"We want to commend the staff of the North Gulfport 7th & 8th grade school for quickly obtaining information and notifying law enforcement. This action aided in the quick location of the child and taking possession of the firearm. In this ongoing investigation, we want to find out why a child brought a loaded firearm, over 100 rounds of ammunition, extra magazines, and a mask to a school. It is imperative that gun owners properly secure their weapons in their homes. Failure to do so may result in unnecessary tragedies."

The student with the gun is being held in the Harrison County Youth Detention Center, and facing charges of possession of a weapon at school. School policy requires expulsion.

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