Public Safety

Washington student accused of firearm at school

School says students and staff are safe

Washington High School in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. The school is finishing a $30 million, 3-year renovation. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Washington High School in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. The school is finishing a $30 million, 3-year renovation. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

In a notice sent to parents Wednesday morning, Washington High School said a student was arrested on school property and found to be in possession of a firearm.

Cedar Rapids police arrested a 16-year-old boy on active warrants, police spokesman Greg Buelow said. Once in custody, Buelow said officers searched the boy and found a loaded handgun.

The gun was seized, police said, and investigators are working to determine who the gun belongs to and how it got into the teen’s hands.

Buelow said police found no indication the juvenile was planning to do something with the gun at the school.

“No actual threat was made,” he said, nor have police found “any indication that the individual was planning something at the school.”

The police department said the teen had active warrants for violation of conditions of supervision on fifth degree-theft and assault charges. When the school’s SRO was informed of the warrants, police said the school officer located the student and escorted him out of the building where he was taken into custody.

The teen faces additional charges of possession of a controlled substance — marijuana and carrying a firearm on school property, police said.

Buelow declined to give any more information, citing juvenile confidentiality laws.

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The school said in the notice it was working closely with police, and “students and staff are safe,” and classes were not disrupted.

"Our relationship with the Cedar Rapids Police Department continues to be an essential support for the safety of our staff and students," the school said in a follow up letter to parents. "We appreciate how the incident was handled this morning. Although the information was alarming, we wanted to communicate with families as information spreads quickly within our community. Know that we are taking additional efforts to keep our students and staff safe with CRPD presence this afternoon.

"We encourage students to "See Something, Say Something;" that is, immediately notify a staff member should they see something that presents a safety concern."

A spokeswoman for the Cedar Rapids Community School District declined to comment further.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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