A day after a mass shooting at a Florida high school, at least four North Texas teens were detained by police for either bringing a gun to school or saying they planned to shoot up their school.
A 16-year-old Flower Mound Marcus High School student was in police custody Thursday after classmates reported seeing a handgun in a backpack. In Arlington, a 13-year-old Nichols Junior High student was detained after other students reported that he threatened to shoot up the school, police said. No gun was found, but the eighth-grader faces a terroristic threat charge, police said.
In Houston, police arrested a 17-year-old who was discovered with a firearm at the Houston Can Academy Hobby's campus. In Plano, police arrested a Plano West Senior High School student who brought a handgun to school. A South Garland High School student was also arrested for bringing a firearm to school, Fox 4 reported.
And Weatherford police arrested a teen for making threats on social media. No other details were provided.
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No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.
Arlington school district spokesman Leslie Johnston said in a statement Thursday night: "The information I received from the campus and APD was that the student said he was going to bring a gun to school not that he actually had a gun at school. The incident was immediately reported and investigated by the campus and APD. Student and staff safety is of the utmost concern and any threat is taken seriously and investigated fully."
In Flower Mound, shortly after 11 a.m., Marcus school resource officers received reports that a student was in possession of a firearm, according to a news release. Police found a small-caliber handgun after the student was pulled out of class.
The firearm was not loaded, but ammunition was found, the news release states. Police and school officials did not release any other information about the student.
"Because of yesterday’s school tragedy in Florida, we understand there is a heightened sense of concern surrounding this type of situation," Principal Gary Shafferman said in a statement. "Please know, federal law prohibits us from sharing confidential student information, so we cannot speak directly to the consequences the student may face. I want to assure you, if appropriate, the student will face disciplinary action according to our student code of conduct."
Seventeen people died Wednesday in a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. Nikolas Cruz, 19, faces 17 counts of premeditated murder for the deadly shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The Marcus High student faces felony charges for possessing a firearm in a prohibited space, according to Flower Mound police.
Shafferman stressed to the community that all students are safe, saying in a message posted on the school website, "We do not believe the student intended to harm anyone on campus."
In Plano, police spokesman David Tilley said that at about 11 a.m. Thursday a school resource officer at Plano West received a Crime Stoppers tip that a "specific individual" was possibly in possession of a handgun.
The juvenile was found in possession of a handgun and taken into custody, Tilley said.
"Official charges are unknown at this time," Tilley said shortly after 3 p.m.
Although no students with guns were reported Thursday in Fort Worth schools, Superintendent Kent. P. Scribner sent a message to district employees: “Once again we are immensely saddened by the loss of innocent lives in yesterday’s tragic shooting in Florida. As the headline in today’s Star-Telegram said, there are 'no words' to express our horror. Schools must be among the safest places for our children and the adults who serve them.
“Several years ago we implemented a Fort Worth Police Department training program entitled 'Avoid, Deny, Defend' to prepare for a worst-case scenario here. We will revisit that training across the District, asking our team to review and reinforce all safety procedures on and around our campuses. “We must renew our commitment to a strong and safe school community. Additionally, we must support the social and emotional health of children and adults through communication and vigilance.”