Fayetteville police arrested a Woodland Junior High School student Wednesday (Sept. 25) on suspicion of having a loaded handgun on campus.
The 15-year-old boy was arrested and faces charges of possession of a handgun by a minor on school property and fleeing.
An officer working at the junior high located on 1 E. Poplar St. received information that the student may have a gun. When he attempted to approach the teen, he ran off, according to a police report.
Police say the boy ditched his backpack behind World’s Gym on College Avenue. He was later taken into custody near King Burrito a few blocks away.
Officers said they found a loaded handgun inside the boy’s backpack.
The student had not threatened anyone and no one was injured, according to investigators.
Paula Smith, who has a son as the Jr. high, said she’s concerned about what happened.
“It’s a wonderful school, it’s a wonderful community and we’re not immune to it,” Smith said. “It can be anywhere at anytime.”
The Fayetteville School District Spokesperson Alan Wilbourn said, “we wanted to make sure that the accurate information was out there quickly.”
That’s why on Wednesday, Fayetteville School District officials sent the following message to Woodland parents by text message and e-mails, alerting them to the incident:
Dear Woodland Families:
We had a situation at school today involving one of our students bringing a gun on campus. The student was apprehended by the police off site, and the weapon was confiscated. The incident did not involve a threat. We appreciate the rapid response of our School Resource Officer, the Fayetteville Police Department, and the campus administration.
We are cooperating fully with the police department, and the school district will take all appropriate disciplinary measures.
We wanted you to be aware of this situation. The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority, and we work daily to create a safe atmosphere for teaching and learning.