Opelika high school student charged after bringing loaded gun to school

Opelika high school student charged after bringing loaded gun to school

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - A concerned community member called Opelika High School Wednesday morning, worried a student on campus might be carrying a gun.

School officials jumped into action, making contact with the student and after a brief physical altercation they found a loaded pistol in his backpack.

"Our administration acted like they always do whether it's gossip or a rumor, but we check and we check until we feel very comfortable nothing was there and 99 percent of the time nothing is found, but this time we found a pistol in the backpack of a student," explained Opelika City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Neighbors.

The 17-year-old student was taken into custody soon after by the Opelika Police Department.

At this time we do not know what the student's intentions were having the gun, but administrators took the necessary steps to prevent what could have become a tragedy.

"At this point we can't say or speculate whether this would have been a random school shooting, a mass shooting type of event or if he was just mad at one person. We are still investigating," said Captain Shane Healey of the Opelika Police Department.

The school system sent out a message to high school parents informing them of the incident and that no other students were involved.

Neighbors says this is when year-round training comes into play.

He believes knowing your students as well as constant parent involvement is one of the best security measures you can take.

"We talk about that in our safety meetings as one of the most important things we can do is know our kids know what is going on, don't take anything for granted. Student safety is our first priority," explained Neighbors.

The 17-year-old student has been charged as a juvenile with carrying a pistol without a permit, disorderly conduct and harassment. He is currently at the Lee County Youth Development Center's Detention Facility.

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