3 students charged after gun found at Morristown West High

Morristown West High School

MORRISTOWN (WATE) – Three male students were charged in connection with an incident at Morristown-Hamblen High School West  Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators with the the Morristown Police Department  said it was determined a 14-year-old freshman brought a 9mm handgun to school in a backpack. Once the gun was at the school, investigators said two other students, both 15-year-old freshman, handled the gun, which was unloaded.

The incident is isolated, according to investigators. They do not believe there was  a plan to fire the weapon at the school.

All three students were charged with carrying weapons on school property. One of the 15-year-old males was also charged with consuming alcoholic beverages on school premises.

The students were arrested Tuesday afternoon after the gun was found inside the school Their case was referred to juvenile court.

School system officials say the school went into lockdown around 2:30 p.m. after they received reports of a gun in the school. The superintendent went with officers to search the school and found a gun.

The three students were detained for questioning in connection with the weapon’s discovery. The lockdown was lifted at 3:30 p.m.

“It’s panic, not knowing what’s gong on,” said Kim Richardson, a Morristown West parent.

Parents, like Richardson, want to think their child is safe when they drop them off at school. However, after she heard a gun was found inside her son’s school, she gave safety a second thought.

“Of course, that’s the first thing you think. Are there going to be casualties in this?” said Richardson.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. After a student told faculty that he saw a gun at school, Dr. Lynch said they looked at video surveillance. The video did show a student at the school with a gun.

“I don’t think the intent was to harm anyone,” said Dr. Lynch.

Richardson thinks the school should consider putting metal detectors at the entrance. Right now, one school in Hamblen County does have metal detectors.

“Let the kids walk through them. If they don’t have anything to hide, it shouldn’t be a problem,” said Richardson.

Dr. Lynch does not believe it is the best way to keep students safe.

“The best way to keep schools safe is to have a culture of caring,” said Dr. Lynch.

The Morristown Police Department say there will be extra security at the school Wednesday.

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