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Gun found at school

October 29, 2005|By PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING - A loaded handgun was discovered in a 15-year-old Clear Spring High School student's jeans pocket Friday by school administrators after he was restrained from starting a fight after school, Washington County Sheriff's Department Investigator Greg Alton said.

The loaded Glock 9 mm semiautomatic handgun and another magazine were found by school administrators after they took the boy to the school office, Alton said. Police were called at 1:12 p.m., he said.

Alton would not say how many rounds were loaded in the gun.

The boy is charged with carrying a deadly weapon on school property, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, wearing/carrying a handgun, molest/on school premises and school: disturb operations, Alton said.

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The boy was in the custody of the Sheriff's Department Friday night, but was to be detained at the Western Maryland Children's Center, a Department of Juvenile Services detention facility, he said.

As students were boarding buses Friday, the boy started to walk toward another boy with whom he planned to fight, Alton said. But another boy restrained the 15-year-old before he got near the other boy, he said.

The 15-year-old "was aggressively being restrained by another student, which called the attention to the principal and assistant principal," Alton said.

Students were dismissed 2 1/2 hours early Friday for a scheduled early dismissal, Washington County Public Schools Public Information Officer Carol Mowen said.

Alton said that the boy with whom the 15-year-old was planning to fight "didn't know anything about this."

Police are investigating whether the student who restrained the 15-year-old knew he had a gun.

"We're still trying to determine the exact reason why he had the gun," Alton said.

Alton said that the 15-year-old "never pulled it out and displayed it."

"As a precaution, we anticipate that there will be some additional law enforcement vehicles in the area on (Wednesday) as a way of support," Mowen said Friday.

Students are off Monday and Tuesday for professional days, Mowen said.

Principal Mike Shockey will be sending a letter to parents over the weekend to address the incident, she said.

Mowen said Shockey will be "informing parents about what occurred and letting them know about our commitment to the safety and security of students."

Although Mowen could not comment specifically about the boy's status at the school, she said "certainly if a student is found to be in possession of a weapon, they could receive punishment up to and including expulsion."

Mowen could not say whether a loaded handgun has been brought to any other school in the past.

"If the need were to arise for there to be increased security measures, there are steps in place for administrators to consider," she said.

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