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Lakeland PD: Student found with handgun at Southwest Middle School


BEFORE THE END OF THIS NEWSCAST. A 14-YEAR-OLD CHARGED WITH BRINGING WEAPONS TO SOUTHWEST MIDDLE SCHOOL IN LAKELAND AND IT WAS SOCIAL MEDIA THAT LED THE PRINCIPAL TO THE GUNS BEFORE ANYONE GOT HURT. JEN HOLLOWAY JOINS US LIVE FROM OUTSIDE THAT MIDDLE SCHOOL. WE UNDERSTAND THIS STUDENT HAD NOT ONE HANDGUN, BUT TWO ALONG WITH A GUN MAGAZINE LOADED WITH 12 BULLETS. THAT’S WHAT WE UNDERSTAND, JAN. EARLIER TODAY AROUND NOON, THE PRINCIPAL AT SOUTHWEST MIDDLE SCHOOL LITERALLY LEAPT INTO ACTION WHEN HE WAS SHOWN A SNAP CHAT VIDEO, A 14-YEAR-OLD WITH THOSE GUNS THREATENING ANOTHER STUDENT. THE PRINCIPAL LOCATED THE STUDENT AND HIS BACKPACK BEHIND HIS DESK WHERE THE WEAPONS WERE LOCATED. A SCENE THAT SHOCKING FOR LAKELAND LOCALS LIKE JEREMY TOMLINSON TO EVEN IMAGINE. THAT IS INSANE, MAN, 14 YEARS OLD TO EVEN HAVE ACCESS TO SOMETHING LIKE THAT IS OUTRAGEOUS TO ME. WHEN THE PRINCIPAL OPENED THE BAG, HE FOUND TWO HANDGUNS. A 9 MM SEMI-AUTOMATIC. LATER, DISCOVERED TO BE STOLEN. WHEN LAKELAND POLICE ARRIVED, THEY INTERVIEWED THE SUSPECT WHO ADMITTED TO HAVING THE GUNS AND HIDING THE BACKPACK SO NO ONE WOULD SEE THEM. HE WAS PLACED INTO CUSTODY. ADDING TO THE SHOCK OF THIS STORY, THIS IS NOT THE 14-YEAR- OLD’S FIRST ARREST. THE JUVENILE IS CURRENTLY ON FELONY PROBATION. MEANWHILE, PARENTS LIKE TOMLINSON SAY SECURITY MUST BE A TOP PRIORITY. I FEEL LIKE THE SCHOOL SYSTEM SHOULD CRACK DOWN ON SECURITY. RIGHT NOW, THAT 14-YEAR-OLD IS AT THE JUVENILE ASSESSMENT CENTER. HE IS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF A FIREARM ON SCHOOL GROUNDS. ALSO, ILLEGAL CARRYING OF A FIREARM. JEN. I’M CURIOUS, DO WE KNOW WHAT THIS YOUNG MAN DID TO WIND UP ON FELONY PROBATION? ACTUALLY, WE DON’T. THINK ABOUT IT. HE’S A 14-YEAR-OLD, SO HIS RECORD AS A JUVENILE IS SEALED WITH THE STATE. SO, WE DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THOSE RECORDS.

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