A high school student in Phoenix, AZ was arrested Friday after allegedly bringing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and ammunition hidden in a lunch box. CNN: reports. Phoenix police officers said they responded to Bostrom High School in Maryvale just before 1 p.m., where they found a student with a gun. Officers said they also found ammunition in the student’s backpack and lunch box.
The school was placed on lockdown “as soon as school officials were notified of a possible gun on campus,” said Phoenix Police Communications Director Donna Rossi. nbc news. A school district spokeswoman said the lockdown lasted a little more than an hour.
“We commend those who initially reported the possibility of a weapon on school grounds to the 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 juvenile, was in police custody as of Saturday, according to a police release. He was charged by the Pinal County District Attorney’s Office with two felony counts of possession of a firearm and interfering with or disrupting the operation 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 at the scene and confirmed the truth of the report. The Phoenix Police Department is investigating and we will fully cooperate with their investigation. Out of an abundance of caution, we will have additional security measures in place tomorrow.
As you know, the safety of our students and staff is always our top priority and shared effort. We would like 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 seriousness of this situation and the fear of anxiety it is causing our students and staff. We will have social-emotional support at the school for students and staff who may need it,” Principal Michelle Gutierrez de Jimenez said in a statement.
Authorities have not said how the boy obtained the gun or whether he had a motive for bringing it to school.
AR-15-style rifles have been identified as weapons used in recent mass shootings in the US, including the mass shooting at a Texas mall earlier this month. Guns are semi-automatic in that they fire one round per pull of the trigger and automatically reload for another shot.