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KPD takes Southridge student into custody over gun scare

KENNEWICK, Wash. (KVEW-TV) -- ​​​​​​​Kennewick Police Department took a male Southridge High School student into custody Wednesday following a potential gun scare on campus.

In a letter to parents, principal Molly Hamaker-Teals said students reported that another student was going to bring a gun to school to protect himself.

Administrators, school security and a KPD School Resource Officer removed the student from class and found two air soft pistols concealed under a sweatshirt.

According to KPD, the student, 14, recently shoplifted the weapons from Walmart. In a post to Facebook, the department described the handguns as appearing very real when compared to an actual firearm.

Officers took the student to the Benton Franklin Juvenile Detention Center for Possession of a Dangerous Weapon and Possession of Stolen Property.

School staff put the student on emergency expulsion and commended other students for coming forward.

The full letter is shown below:

Dear Southridge Parents and Guardians,

This letter is to inform you about a situation that happened involving one of our students today.

Shortly after school started at 7:45 a.m. [Wednesday] morning, two students reported that another student informed one of them after school yesterday that he was bringing a gun to school today to protect himself from other students.

Administrators, school security and our Kennewick Police Department School Resource Officer immediately removed the student from class and discovered two air soft pistols concealed under a sweatshirt. The student was placed on emergency expulsion and taken into custody by the Kennewick Police Department.

We want to commend the students who reported their concerns with staff members. We encourage parents to discuss with their children the seriousness of bringing weapons to school and emphasize the urgency to report any threats as soon as they learn about them. These reports can be made to school staff or local law enforcement at any time of day or night.

Sincerely,

Molly Hamaker-Teals
​​​​​​​Principal


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