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Gun found in student's backpack at Ocala high school, police say

No additional weapons found on campus


OCALA, Fla. – A 16-year-old student was arrested after he brought a gun to West Port High School in his backpack on Wednesday, according to the Ocala Police Department.

Police said a student told school resource officer Robert Gravel that a 10th grade student had a gun. According to the incident report, Gravel located the student in the Student Services classroom where two employees were on the floor trying to contain him.

Authorities said Gravel took his Taser out of his holster and told the student to stop and get on his stomach. He complied and put his hands behind his back. 

When asked about the Hi-Point 380 caliber gun and magazine found in his backpack, he told police his brother had put it in his bag the night before and when he found it at school he was too afraid to say anything.

Ocala police said the gun wasn't loaded, but a magazine with nine bullets was found in the bag. The gun was reported stolen out of Suwannee County.

Authorities said that despite a rumor that a second student had a gun in a vehicle on campus, no additional firearms were found and no other arrests were made, although police initially said two people were in custody.

Officials said students were protected during the incident and the school resumed to normal operations around 2 p.m.

Police said the 16-year-old student stuck with his story, but a student later told school officials she had seen him showing the gun to other students on campus. The suspect told police that some other students at the school were asking if he had a firearm for sale.

The 16-year-old student was charged with possession of a firearm by a person under 21.


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