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3 students arrested after gun, ammunition found at Treasure Coast High School in Port St. Lucie

Two 16-year-old students, 15-year-old students in custody
Treasure Coast High School, where students arrested for bringing guns and ammunition
Posted at 5:23 PM, Oct 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-28 07:39:01-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Three students at Treasure Coast High School in Port St. Lucie were arrested Thursday after a school resource officer found a handgun and ammunition on campus, police said.

The Port St. Lucie Police Department arrested two 16-year-old students and a 15-year-old student from the school in connection with the incident.

"In light of everything that’s happened with firearms in school it’s completely shocking and scary," said concerned parent Christian Stone.

Police spokesman Sgt. John Dellacroce said an alert teacher overheard a student talking about the possibility of a gun on campus, prompting the teacher to immediately notify law enforcement.

The school resource deputy worked closely with the school administration to identify the three students involved in the incident.

During a search of a student's backpack, the school resource officer found a handgun and ammunition.

Police said the gun was brought to school by one of the 16-year-old students.

Treasure Coast High School sign
A sign outside Treasure Coast High School welcomes students and visitors, Oct. 27, 2022, in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

"When they go to school every day, I'm praying, you know, that they're going to come back. You know, it's really scary," said parent Catherine Mackenzie, who said incidents like this are exactly why she decided to home-school her child who was supposed to go to Treasure Coast High School.

Officers said the students had passed the backpack around in an attempt to hide the firearm from law enforcement.

Investigators said there were no threats made against other students or staff.

Police said the students were transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice and face charges of possession of a firearm on school property and unlicensed carry of a concealed firearm.

St. Lucie Public Schools released the following statement in response to the arrest:

"Thanks to a student tip and attentive staff our well established safety protocols worked as expected enabling law enforcement to locate and retrieve a weapon from a student. The students involved have been arrested and will be expelled.

Providing a safe and secure learning environment is a top priority in St. Lucie Public Schools and we take these incidents very seriously.  Extensive security measures are in place to help us maintain a safe campus.

Working together, we can maintain an environment where students are free to focus on learning."