A high school student in US’ Phoenix was arrested Friday after allegedly bringing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and ammunition concealed in a lunch box, CNN reported. Phoenix police officers said they responded to Bostrom High School in Maryvale just before 1 pm, where they found the student with the rifle. Officers said they also found ammunition in the student’s backpack and lunch box.
The school was placed under lockdown ”as soon as school officials were notified of the possible gun on campus,” Donna Rossi, director of communications for the Phoenix police, told NBC News. A spokesperson for the school district said the lockdown lasted a little over one hour.
”We commend those who originally reported the possibility of a weapon on school grounds to adults on campus who immediately called police,” Phoenix police said in a statement.
The 15-year-old boy, who was not identified because he is a minor, remained in police custody as of Saturday, police said in their release. He was charged with two felonies by the Pinal County Attorney’s Office, for possession of a firearm and interference with or disruption of an educational institution.
”As we shared on Friday, we received a report from a student that a possible firearm was on campus. Our staff immediately contacted local law enforcement, who arrived on the scene and confirmed the report to be true. The Phoenix Police Department is investigating, and we will cooperate fully in their investigation. Out of an abundance of caution, we will have additional safety measures in place tomorrow.
As you know, the safety of our students and staff is always our top priority and a shared effort. We want to thank those who reported the incident to a trusted adult, our staff, and the Phoenix Police Department who quickly arrived on campus. We recognize the severity of this situation and the fear and anxiety it causes our students and staff. We will have social-emotional support available at school for students and staff who may need it,” Principal Michelle Gutierrez de Jimenez said in a statement.
Authorities did not say how the boy obtained the firearm or whether a motive for bringing it to school was known.
AR-15-style rifles have been identified as the weapons used in many of the recent mass shootings in the US, including the mass shooting at a Texas mall earlier this month. The rifles are semi-automatic because they fire one bullet per pull of the trigger and automatically reload for another shot.