GRPS tipped off before Union HS student brought gun to school

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Where did he get the gun it and why did he bring it to school? Those are some of the questions police are asking after a sophomore at Grand Rapids Union High School was caught Friday morning carrying a pistol.

School security officers say they had been warned the 15-year-old might be carrying a gun, so when they saw him he was immediately confronted. During the struggle to stand the boy up and search him, they say the pistol came loose and fell to the floor.

RELATED: Union High school student arrested with gun

According to school security, most of the students at Union High did not seem upset or frightened when one of their classmates was caught carrying a handgun. But at least one parent took her children out of school. "I'm taking my daughter home, I'm going inside to get my other daughter and taking her home also," Holly McFarland told WZZM.

School security were on the lookout for the 15-year-old-boy after receiving a tip he was seen at a weekend party with the pistol.

"Our instructions with our security staff was if you see this individual again, to encounter him and to search that individual to make sure he is not bringing that weapon into the school," said GRPS head of security Larry Johnson.

"In my first hour he said he had the gun, he showed it to somebody but he didn't say anything about using it," explained Union High School student Aalyiah McFarland. "He just said he got it and then he said not to tell anybody."

"A gun in school is very rare; we havn't had an actual hand gun in our schools in 2.5 years," Johnson said. "1,100 students in Union High School and one student made a bad decision."

The gun was not loaded, but investigators say the boy had ammunition in his pocket. The student faces automatic expulsion for bringing the weapon to school, plus criminal charges. Investigators say they don't know, but want to find out why the teenager felt the need to carry a gun in school.


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