At least 5 gun incidents on or near school grounds in central Indiana in 2 weeks

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A 16-year-old is facing charges as an adult after police said he brought a loaded gun to Lawrence Central High School.

The student was arrested at the school.

Court documents say he smelled of marijuana, and a school official found a handgun in a backpack. The school said the student did not enter the main building.

An officer cleared the gun and found it was loaded with one round in the chamber and 10 rounds in the magazine, according to the affidavit.

The incident happened at Lawrence Central High School on August 15th.

A 15-year-old boy was also formally charged after police said he was carrying a loaded gun across the street from Muncie Central High School.

The other three gun incidents happened at Arsenal Tech High School, Ben Davis High School, and North Central High School.

"The first thing you always revert back to is your child and the safety of their school," said Lakesha Baker, a parent of a student at Decatur Central High School.

None of the incidents happened at the school district of Baker's son, but it still concerns her when it involves any child.

"School is always one of those places you assume is a safe place," she said. "You never want to hear anything of that nature even coming close to where your kid attends school or any school of that matter."

In Muncie, court documents said a witness told resource officers the student was planning to return to campus with a gun. Chase Lyday, the president of the Indiana School Resource Officers Association, believes this case shows the importance of SROs.

"School resource officers are just more valuable than hard equipment in a school because of the relationship," he said. "You have the ability to act quickly if information comes to you."

He did not think these types of gun incidents are happening more often but rather, students and faculty feel more comfortable to come up to officers.

"Does not matter what the equipment is, students make unsafe decisions," Lyday said. "That is why we want to hire safety professionals to work in those schools."

In reference to the incident at Arsenal Tech High School, a spokesperson for Indianapolis Public Schools said administrators received a tip about a video on social media where the student was showing off a gun in his backpack. She said officials told IPS police, and they intercepted the student as soon as he arrived on campus. That is when they found the gun.

The incidents at Ben Davis High School and North Central High School happened on the same day. School officials at Ben Davis High School said the gun found there was unloaded. It is still unclear if the weapon found at North Central High School was loaded or not. That district said they stepped up security at the school on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for MSD of Washington Township sent the following statement:

We are proud of our safety staff and administrative team for acting swiftly and efficiently, following existing safety protocols that were developed by a multi-disciplinary team made up of our district safety committee and with our first responder partners which include IMPD, IFD, and the Department of Homeland Security.  Washington Township has 12 administrators and school police officers that are trained and have met all statutory requirements for certification as School Safety Specialists in the state of Indiana.

The district has used metal detectors, both stationery and handheld, as appropriate and will continue to assess and explore the need for future use in our schools. Handheld metal detectors are also available to assist building administrators across the school district to enhance safety in matters involving possible weapons and other safety concerns.

“We are reminded that it all boils down to the fact that nothing replaces the human factor of observation and if you see something say something, do something” said Chief Brian Clouse of the MSDWT Police Department. “Our students and staff take seriously the charge to be the eyes and ears for a safer school campus.”

We are always evaluating best practices for school safety and security and the safety of our students consistently remains a top priority.

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