PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A student at a Philadelphia high school has been taken into custody after they were found in possession of a firearm, say police.
It happened at Samuel Fels High School in the city’s Crescentville section, around 7:30 a.m. Monday.
School officials made the discovery when the student tried to pass a backpack through a scanner.
Police say the backpack had a loaded gun in it.
School police immediately took the backpack out of the student’s possession and then took the student into custody.
The Philadelphia Police Department placed the entire school on lockdown for an hour to make sure there was not any further threat.
Police say the gun was recently stolen.
The situation had parents, students and the school district on high alert, following the deadly school shooting in Florida nearly two weeks ago.
“Now is not a time for anyone to take anything lightly, every response we see we are taking it very seriously. If a student sees something, we want them to say something,” said Kevin Geary of the Philadelphia School District. “We have a zero tolerance policy about weapons in schools. It’s why our high schools have scanners and metal detectors and the process worked here.”
The school district is asking all parents to use this incident as an opportunity to talk to your children about the severity of bringing a weapon to school.
Sophomores were startled by the start to school, but were not surprised when they learned who the student was.
“It was just to protect himself, really,” said one student.
They say the 15-year-old freshman had been in a fight recently.
“Multiple people beat him up,” said another student. “I don’t know what it was for, but it was multiple people on one.”
Meanwhile, police are still trying to understand why the student involved in today’s incident decided to bring that loaded gun into the building.
No injuries were reported in the incident.
The School District of Philadelphia released the following statement about the incident:
“The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. The School District of Philadelphia has strict safety protocols in place and has a zero tolerance for weapons of any kind in our schools. This issue was dealt with swiftly and effectively, thanks to the safety protocols in place and assistance of all involved. The School District is fully cooperating with the Philadelphia Police Department as they investigate this matter.”
The student has been charged as a juvenile, but faces felony offenses. The teen faces charges of weapon on school property, theft of a stolen firearm and fire arms violation.