A 16-year-old student was arrested at Centennial High School on August 19, after police said he brought a loaded gun onto school grounds.
According to Peoria police, a school resource officer who confiscated the teen’s backpack found in it a 9mm handgun with 11 rounds in the magazine.
But the teen, whose name was not released due to his age, claimed the gun didn’t belong to him. He didn’t, however, identify an owner.
Police said the student made no threats against the school, and no one was in any danger.
Prior to the gun’s discovery, the teen was apprehended by administrators for smoking marijuana wax, a more potent, concentrated cannabis extract, in one of the restrooms.
Upon being taken to the office, police said the teen admitted to an administrator that he had a gun in his backpack. That’s when the SRO was called, and the student was arrested around 10 a.m.
In the hours following the incident, Principal Bill Sorensen sent out a letter notifying families of the teen’s arrest as well as administrators’ and officers’ response procedures.
“While no threats were made against students, staff or our school, weapons or any item that disrupts the educational process are never allowed on our campus,” Sorensen said.
And, according to Sorensen, teachers and other school staff members were briefed on the incident at a regular Monday meeting.
“In addition, we want to provide support for students who may feel anxious hearing this news. Our counseling team will be available for students who need to talk through any fear or concerns they may be experiencing,” he added.
“A reminder to our families that I still believe there is no other place like our public schools where there are more staff 100% committed to the safety and well-being of students. At Centennial, the safety of our students and staff is our first priority.”
The suspect was booked into the Durango Juvenile Detention Center without incident and charged with carrying a weapon on school grounds. He received additional drug charges. Police said the charges are preliminary and may be changed.
Police issued the following statement:
“These matters are extremely serious in nature, cause disruption of an educational institution, and are not tolerated by the Peoria Unified School District or the Peoria Police Department.”
Individuals with information regarding the incident can call the Safe School line at 623-486-6199 or the Peoria Police Department at 623-773-8311.