HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A West Harrison High School student was arrested after reportedly bringing multiple weapons on campus, including a small caliber handgun.
The 16-year-old student is charged with one felony count of Possession of a Weapon on School Property and four misdemeanor counts of Possession of a Weapon on School Property.
According to Sheriff Troy Peterson, other students told Harrison County School Resource Officers that the suspect was carrying a gun in his waistband. The resource officers pulled him out of class and searched him around 2 pm, finding a small caliber handgun. Two throwing stars and two knives were also found in the student's backpack.
"I saw the cops running towards the classroom that the student was in, but I didn't know what the case was," recalled student Donnie Kellerman.
The student is being held taken to the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Center under no bond pending a family court detention hearing.
"The officers responded very quickly and they controlled the situation," said student Kaleb Stevison.
The school addressed the incident on it's Facebook page with a post explaining what happened on Tuesday afternoon. A representative of the school confirmed that all students and staff are safe and were not threatened with the weapons.
The Harrison County Sheriff's Department is working with school administrators and resource officers on a thorough investigation. Officials say the arrest was in order with district policy regarding students who bring weapons to school
Gulfport City Councilwoman and parent, Ella Holmes-Hines, explains what it's like to hear this is happening at her daughter's school.
"It is so disheartening if you've been a parent to know what that feels like in the bottom of your stomach that you really don't know. Then the end of the message said all is safe, and then you do a sigh of relief," she said.
Holmes-Hines now would like to see extra measures in place to prevent guns from being brought into schools like installing metal detectors at the front doors. But she says prevention starts at home.
"It's up to the parent. We can't just put it on the school. The parents have to have some accountability with this. Second amendment rights come with responsibility," she explained.
With holding parents accountable as the goal, Holmes-Hines hopes to work with state legislators to create a law designed to penalize parents for their children bringing weapons to school.
"I assure you if one parent spends one night in jail, a parent will know where their guns are," she offered.
As West Harrison High School explicitly states in its handbook, "the board hereby prohibits the possession of pistols, firearms, explosive devices (including fireworks) or weapons in any form by any person other than duly authorized law enforcement officials on school premises or at school functions, regardless of whether any such person possesses a valid permit to carry such pistols, firearms, or weapons."
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