McKinley High teen accused of bringing loaded gun to school

Authorities with the multiagency School Drug Task Force on Friday arrested a ninth-grade McKinley High School student accused of taking a loaded handgun to school.

School officials found the .38-caliber pistol in the 16-year-old student’s backpack around 11 a.m. after they noticed him clutching the backpack and refusing to let anyone else near it, said Casey Rayborn Hicks, a spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The student told investigators that he took the gun to school “for protection,” Hicks said.

The student, whose name was not released, was arrested and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Detention Center on counts of illegal possession of a firearm on a school campus and illegal possession of a stolen firearm, Hicks said.

Keith Bromery, a spokesman for the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, said the student informed investigators that he didn’t have the gun for anything school-related.

“It wasn’t for anything, that I’m aware of, at school,” Bromery said. “It was so he’d have it with him when he was in the neighborhood after school.”

Bromery said the school was not put on lockdown because administrators deemed the issue an isolated incident.

The fact that a loaded gun made it into the school Friday should serve as a reminder to parents to monitor what their children are taking to school every day, possibly going as far as inspecting backpacks, Bromery said.

The incident marked the first time in 2014 a loaded gun was found on an East Baton Rouge Parish school system campus, Hicks said.

However, about three weeks ago, task force authorities arrested a Wedgewood Elementary fifth-grader accused of bringing an unloaded handgun to school to look “cool,” Hicks has said.