Two students in custody after they bring gun to Selma High

Published 8:27pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Selma High School student body and faculty were rattled Thursday when the school was locked down shortly before the end of the school day.

According to reports, at 2:51 p.m., a teacher observed what appeared to be a handgun in a student’s backpack and alerted school administrators, who then instituted a school-wide lockdown and alerted police.

After the school was locked down, Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley said school officials worked with the onsite Selma Police officer and located the student who was believed to have had the handgun.

“At that time, they did find a juvenile with a handgun in his backpack,” Riley said. “We also were led to another student who also had — at points during the day — had possession of the gun.”

Two juveniles, ages 15 and 17, were taken into custody, charged with possessing a deadly weapon on school property and placed in the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center.

The gun was reportedly a chrome-plated, .380 handgun and was loaded. According to Riley, initial investigations have not shown the gun was stolen but the department is researching the gun’s serial number to determine who owns the gun.

It also appears the students did more than just bring a weapon onto school grounds.

“Further investigation revealed that the 17-year-old juvenile did in fact point and threaten another student inside the school earlier in the day with the weapon,” Riley said. “The 17-year-old will face an additional charge of menacing with a firearm.”

Riley said the department is also investigating possible connections between the two juveniles involved in Thursday’s incident and a Wednesday afternoon shooting on 4th Street.

But what remains the biggest question now is how the students were able to bring the weapon into Selma High School — a new facility that was heavily touted for its improved security measures.

“We are taking every measure that we think is possible to ensure the students’ safety,” said Selma City Schools’ Superintendent of Education Gerald Shirley. “We do have a policy and we are going to review other things, whatever things, whatever measure that we think needs to be implemented, we will implement that measure.”

Shirley said the current safety procedure in place at Selma High requires all students to come through metal detectors in the cafeteria every morning before homeroom.

There is one set of doors for girls and another for boys. After the morning bell rings, students who come in as tardy, come through the front doors of the school to check in at the office. It is unclear as to whether students go through security checkpoints after the bell has rung.

When asked how the handgun was still on school grounds after a security check, Shirley said he did not know.

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