Public Safety

Guns recovered from student vehicles at Clear Creek Amana High

Weapons found during K-9 officer training

TIFFIN — Two handguns were discovered in student vehicles during a K-9 training exercise Wednesday at Clear Creek Amana High School.

However, authorities said the two students brought the guns independently of each other, and there did not seem to be any coordinated threat against the school, students or staff.

“This doesn’t appear in any way to be some larger threat or anything like that,” Johnson County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Brad Kunkel said.

Kunkel said K-9 officers from local law enforcement agencies were training at the school in the morning, with two drug investigations initiated. As part of those investigations, two vehicles parked at the school were searched, and a handgun was recovered from each vehicle, Kunkel said.

Two students — ages 16 and 17 — were taken into custody and transported to the Linn County Juvenile Detention Center in Cedar Rapids.

The students each face one count of carrying weapons on school property, a Class D felony. One of the students also faces one count of possession of a controlled substance, a serious misdemeanor.

Kunkel said the guns were a “total surprise” to officers.

He said school officials had not asked officers to come to the high school for a specific reason.

Clear Creek Amana Superintendent Tim Kuehl said K-9 officers have trained at the school in the past.

“We just have a standing situation with the Johnson County sheriff where we ask them a couple of times a year to pop through,” Kuehl said. “They were not called because of any suspicion today.”

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Kuehl has been with the district for seven years, and this is the first time he can recall K-9 officers ever discovered something at the school.

“We certainly don’t think that’s the norm,” he said. “Whenever you’ve got 600 14- to 18-year-olds at any school in the state or anywhere else in the nation, you’re very likely to have some things happen you wouldn’t desire or appreciate.”

Kuehl and Kunkel said no one has discussed whether the two arrests might merit additional sweeps of the school’s parking lot. Kunkel said that discussion would have to be started by the school district.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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