A Florida boy was arrested on felony charges Thursday after police say he brought three guns and ammunition to his school.
CBS 13 reports that the incident happened at the Lighthouse Christian School on U.S. 1 in Callahan. A student at the school, age 12, allegedly brought a revolver and two semiautomatic pistols to the campus.
The incident unfolded when a teacher said she saw the boy carrying two lunchboxes. She asked him if she could hold one of the lunchboxes that appeared heavy. He “reluctantly agreed,” according to the outlet. After noticing the end of a gun sticking out of the lunchbox, the teacher notified the school principal, Troy Arnold.
When Arnold looked inside the lunchbox, he found a sub-compact semiautomatic pistol and two boxes of .38 caliber ammunition, a police report read. The student allegedly said he brought the firearms to the school to show the principal.
While interviewing the boy, a deputy found another gun, loaded with .380 caliber ammo, News 4 Jax reports. The boy had the gun hidden on his person, police said.
During a subsequent interview with the boy, the school staff found a drawing inside the boy’s desk, depicting a gruesome image.
“While interviewing the student a second time, staff was conducting a search of his desk. Inside his desk was a drawing of a man outside of a school with guns. The man was surrounded by several dead bodies, covered in red marker indicating blood,” the police report stated.
Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said authorities spoke with the boy’s mother, who said that her son shot and killed their pet Chihuahua with a pellet rifle. She said the boy claimed it was an accident.
“When you look at the killing of a family pet, you look at some of the drawings that were found in the kid’s desk, it is alarming,” Leeper said.
“You don’t know what’s in the child’s mind and what they’re thinking — maybe innocent, maybe not. But surely, you don’t want to take that chance; you want to make sure the child gets the help that he needs to make sure nothing like this will happen in the future.”
When asked how the boy got access to firearms, the suspect’s mother said she thought she had locked the safe to an uncle’s gun cabinet, but she may have left it open.
Arnold said the child appeared frightened when confronted about the guns, but school policy requires expulsion.
The student was arrested on three felony charges of illegal possession of a firearm at school. Authorities transported him to a Jacksonville juvenile detention center and contacted the Department of Family and Children Services.
“Bringing a weapon to school results in immediate suspension or expulsion and in this kind of case, it will always be expulsion, so we’re working on that now,” Arnold said. “It never feels good, obviously, because there’s a hurting family out there.”
“My prayer is that he gets appropriate help, and that the system works for him.”
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[Feature Photo: Pixabay]