Police arrested a middle school student Thursday in San Antonio, Texas, after classmates discovered the child brought a loaded gun to school.
Several students at Bradley Middle School told the front office Thursday at about 8:30 a.m. that another student may be carrying a weapon on campus, according to a letter to parents from Principal Brenda Cerroni that was obtained by HuffPost. School officials removed the student from class and found a gun in his pocket.
Police with the North East Independent School District arrested the student, who Cerroni wrote “will face serious disciplinary consequences.” North East’s police officers ― or “peace officers” ― are trained police who are licensed to arrest individuals violating local, state and federal laws on campus.
“We applaud the students who came forward and alerted the school,” the principal wrote. “We are treating this situation with the seriousness it deserves, and we will not tolerate any inappropriate items at our school. Please take a moment to talk with your child about the importance of talking to an adult or reporting anything they believe is inappropriate.”
It’s unclear if the student is currently in custody and how he obtained the gun. The letter did not mention the student’s name or age, but used male pronouns to reference him. The firearm was a loaded 9 mm gun, according to WOAI-TV.
Thursday’s arrest came less than a month after five children in Texas were shot in four separate incidents over one weekend. Those shootings highlighted the state’s already existing gun violence problem, specifically with youth. Texas leads the nation in unintentional shootings by children, according to a report by the Houston Chronicle. Almost 200,000 children in Texas live in homes with unlocked, loaded guns, the Brady Campaign reported.
Data from gun violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety shows that Texas had 25 unintentional shootings involving children who found a loaded firearm last year. The state had already seen at least 24 such shootings this year with several months remaining, according to Everytown’s #NotAnAccident index, which tracks unintentional shootings nationwide.
As of September, it’s even easier to carry guns in the state’s churches and schools, after Texas lawmakers passed several bills in May that were later signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association for supporting gun rights. Those bills loosened the state’s already lax gun laws.
The Texas laws that went into effect last month came after the state experienced two mass shootings within less than a month. A gunman killed 22 people and injured dozens more at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Weeks later, another gunman went on a shooting spree in the Texas cities of Midland and Odessa, killing seven and wounding more than 20. The state also experienced two other mass shootings in recent history: at the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church in 2017 that left 26 dead, and at Santa Fe High School in 2018 that left 10 dead.
REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES.
Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.