Independence High student found with gun on campus

Authorities arrested a 16-year-old Independence High School student Tuesday after finding an unloaded gun in his backpack on campus, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

An investigation determined the student allegedly had been smoking marijuana in one of the school’s rest rooms, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dawn Panepinto said in a news release.

Authorities searched the teen’s backpack and found an unloaded .38-caliber handgun wrapped in a T-shirt.

The gun appeared to have been stolen, Panepinto said.

The teen was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Juvenile Detention Center on counts of possession of Schedule I drugs, possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of stolen property and possession of a firearm in a drug-free zone.

Independence police and sheriff’s deputies locked the school down and searched the campus but found no other threats, Police Chief Frank Edwards III said.

Sheriff’s deputies also booked three other students on narcotics-related counts in connection with the incident, Panepinto said.

None of the students’ names were released because of their ages.

No one was injured in the incident, Tangipahoa Parish school Superintendent Mark Kolwe said.