Replica gun cellphone case prompts lockdown at DeLand High School

Student will be charged with disruption of school function, officials say

By Melodi Smith - Multimedia Journalist, Loren Korn - Reporter

DeLAND, Fla. - A lockdown at DeLand High School was lifted Tuesday after a 14-year-old student was initially suspected of carrying a handgun to school, but the alleged gun was discovered to be a replica cellphone gun case, according to officials.

The incident was reported at 9:28 a.m. when a student told a teacher that another student may have been in possession of handgun.

Police Chief Jason Umberger said two officers and the school resource were was already on campus as part of Operation School Guardian.

The school was placed on a lockdown, which has since been lifted.

The officers were able to locate the suspect student, who was taken into custody without incident.

"Officers searched the student and recovered a cell phone case that is molded to resemble a handgun," Umberger said.

The cellphone case was described as bright pink in color.

"Just boggles my mind when I think about these cell phone companies manufacturing look alike guns. It's just shame on them, when you think about it. What is the purpose of making something like that?" Umberger said.

Volusia County Schools Superintendent Tom Russell addressed and emphasized that parents should reiterate the concept of see something, say something to their children.

"You have to monitor your children's cellphone and social media activity. There are apps for you to do that," Russell said. "Third, you need to check their backpack. You have every right as a parent to know what the child is taking to school and what they are bringing home from school."

According to officials, two students reported seeing the replica cellphone gun case sticking out of the student's pocket.

The student will be charged with disruption of a school function.

"We're going to hold students accountable if they issue any threat or any type of disruption to our school campuses," Russell said.

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