ORLANDO, Fla. - A 12-year-old was arrested Monday after an officer found two guns, including a fully loaded MAC-10, in his backpack at an Orlando middle school, police said.
The boy, a 7th-grader at Glenridge Middle School, was arrested on a charge of possession of a firearm on school property and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.
According to police, the school resource officer received tips about a gun on campus and the student was immediately detained, Orlando police said.
Two guns, a .380-caliber handgun and the MAC-10, were discovered in the backpack, police said.
"Just having a friend that carried a gun to school (is) pretty scary," said Joshua Allen, a 7th grade student at Glenridge Middle School
Allen, 13, said he knows the student who brought the guns to school. Allen said he was sitting right next to him Monday morning when the student asked Allen to hand him his backpack.
"It felt unusually heavy, like it was not light," said Allen.
Allen said he didn't think much of it until a few hours later when authorities arrested his friend.
Local 6 News is not identifying the boy because of his age.
Parents were notified of the guns at Glenridge Middle School when they received an automated phone call. The school's principal recorded a voice message that said in part, "Our staff quickly addressed the situation, removing the student from class to ensure no danger or disruption to other students."
"I think he was just trying to show the guns off," said Trent Nelson, a 7th grade Glenridge student. "Because he doesn't seem like a guy who would hurt someone."
Nelson describes the student as funny and outgoing. Other students who spoke to Local 6 said the student was not a big troublemaker.
According to Orlando police, the student has no past criminal activity and had no intent of harming anyone. Even so, it is still too close for comfort.
"It's very dangerous. Maybe they forgot to put it on safety, it could accidentally go off and hurt someone," said Nelson.
"It's the way life is now, and it's tragic. But I don't know what parents should do," said parent Melissa Scaletta. "They don't want to bring their kids to school. Home school. Do whatever you need to keep your kids safe. It's the reality of 2013 unfortunately."
The student was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center and charged with possessing a firearm on school property. He will be released on home detention and his next court hearing is April 4.
The student could also be expelled.
Police are now working to determine how the student obtained the weapons.
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