Charges announced in Del. school gun arrest

April 8, 2009 8:09:56 AM PDT
Two Newark High School students are facing serious charges after a handgun was found in school.The first juvenile charged is a 16-year-old from Wilmington. That teen is charged with Possession of Ammunition by a Person Prohibited and Conspiracy. He was committed to the New Castle County Detention Center in lieu of $6,000 secured bail.

The second teen is a 17-yar-old from Bear. That teen is charged with Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon, Possession of a Weapon in a School Zone, Conspiracy, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited and Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number. He was released on $14,000 unsecured bail.

Police are still investigating where the two got the gun and ammunition but say the teens claim they had the gun for self defense.

Police say it all started around 10:30 a.m. yesterday when a student saw a handgun in a classroom. That student then sent a text message to a friend at a neighboring high school. That student then notified his School Resource Officer, who contacted Newark High School administration.

The Newark Police Department's School Resource Officer and NHS Administrators responded to the classroom and conducted a search.

Police say students were taken out of the classroom and searched but nothing was found.

Authorities then searched the empty classroom, finding a handgun magazine that was loaded with three 9mm rounds. This magazine was located on a desk under some papers.

Investigators say they then searched a bookbag in the room, finding a 9mm handgun with one round in the chamber.

Due to the location of both items, police say two male juveniles were identified and taken into custody.

Anyone with additional information about this incident should contact SRO Cpl. Darryl Saunders at 302-366-7110 ext. 130

Newark students got a letter to take home that informed parents of the incident.

A school district spokesperson would not comment or provide details about the circumstances.

Copy of a letter sent home with Newark High School Students

Parents and Guardians,

Today, school officials received information about a possible weapon on school grounds. I immediately notified our school resource officer and other administrators and began a thorough search. During our search, a handgun was recovered. The weapon was secured, and two students involved in the incident were arrested and removed from school by the Newark Police Department. The students will also be disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct.

The consequences for students possessing or concealing a weapon are very severe. It is considered a Level III offense by the Student Code of Conduct, and may result in expulsion. Parents are encouraged to discuss with their children both the dangers of handling weapons of any kind, and the serious consequences of possessing them on school property. Copies of the Student Code of Conduct are available in all District schools and on the District website: www.christina.k12.de.us

Sincerely,

Curtis Bedford
Principal
Newark High School
(302) 631-4700 ext.14701

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