CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Carl Junction police said a male high school student was taken into custody early Monday morning after authorities found a loaded 9 mm handgun and ammunition in his locker during a search.
The school district released a statement saying it is “confident this is an isolated incident and our students and staff are safe."
Police Chief Delmar Haase told the Globe that the police department was notified of the incident at around 8 a.m. by school administration. The weapon was located by school officials during a locker search due to an unrelated discipline issue, and law enforcement was contacted.
"They checked a juvenile male's locker that they thought had a vape pen, which was discovered, but then they also found a firearm and ammunition in a backpack in his locker," Haase said. "Yes, I believe the gun was loaded, and there was additional ammunition. At this point, we haven't found any threat to any students. We're not sure the intent at this point, but we don't have a target at all, so we don't believe students are at risk."
Haase said the incident was dealt with quickly. The Carl Junction Police Department is investigating the case, and the student has been turned over to juvenile officials.
"We'll attempt to interview him, but we have to go through the juvenile division," Haase said. "The whole judicial end of this is in the juvenile authorities' hands."
Theresa Wilson, Carl Junction High School principal, said the building did not have to go into lockdown because the weapon was secured, and there was no danger to students.
According to district policy, "no student may possess a weapon on school property at any time, unless specifically authorized during a school-sponsored event or school-sanctioned activity permitting weapons." Examples of weapons include, but are not limited to, knives, martial arts devices, box cutters, razors, blackjack, knuckles, pepper mace, stun guns, tasers and other items, as defined in the student handbook.
The student will be suspended from school for one calendar year, according to law and district policy.
Wilson said tobacco products and devices such as vape pens are also prohibited on school grounds.