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Loaded gun found in locker at Vero Beach HS

Posted at 12:04 AM, Sep 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-22 00:04:07-04

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. -- A 15-year-old Vero Beach High School teenager is facing felony charges for bringing a loaded gun to school at the school's Freshman Learning Center.

Investigators with the Indian River County Sheriff's Office are trying to determine how the teen got his hands on the gun, and why he would bring it to school.

Sheriff Deryl Loar says the loaded handgun was found in a pair of pants the teenager had in his locker.

The Indian River County School District sent a call out to all parents letting them know what happened. In the call, Superintendent Mark Rendell told parents law enforcement and school administrators acted on information they received from students that a classmate might have a weapon.

"It's great to have effective communication with our students and our school resource deputies to keep these kinds of things from happening," Loar said.

Parents and students leaving the J-V football game Monday night had plenty of questions about why this happened.

"It was a little shocking that it happened," said parent Pat Bauslaugh. "You don't think it's every going to happen at a school your children go to."

Students agreed. "I was surprised because you don't think it's going to happen at your school," said student Tijah McGriff.

"Why? Why would you do that," student Davion Cross asked.

McGriff applauds her classmates for telling administrators when they learned the teen had a gun. She hopes all her classmates would do the same thing.  "Don't feel like you're being a snitch because that's serious. You should definitely tell administrators if something like that happens."

Sheriff Loar believes the gun was stolen. He shares concerns with parents. "It's highly unusually to find a loaded handgun on any campus in Indian River County. This is only the 5th week of school," Loar said. "We're going to outline every possible motive that we can and where the gun came from.

Deputies will be increasing their presence at the school on Tuesday.

The sheriff also wants to control access to stolen weapons in the county. He reminds residents that gun owners can get free gun locks from the sheriff's office during business hours for free.

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