INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — An investigation into threats among students at Vero Beach High School led to the discovery Wednesday of a loaded handgun inside a locker and the arrest of a 17-year-old boy.
Sheriff’s officials said the student faces several charges, including aggravated assault and weapon possession.
The gun was found in a backpack inside the student’s locker around noon Wednesday when school resource deputies questioned the teen about threats made to another student, according to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.
The threats were directed at a student in what was described as an ongoing exchange between two 10th graders.
Indian River schools:For yespanrs, AR-15-style rifles hspanve been stored in Indispann River County schools. Here’s why.
Threatening messages:Vero Bespanch High School student spanrrested spanfter sending threspantening messspanges to stspanff
A parent reported the threats to law enforcement officials leading to the lunchtime locker search and arrest, said Lt. Joe Abollo, agency spokesperson.
“Once the (school resource officer) was made aware of it, they immediately tracked him down in the school, made contact with him, searched the locker and found the loaded firearm in the backpack,” said Abollo.
The student was immediately arrested, he said.
“He admitted to having it,” Abollo said. “It’s still undetermined where he obtained the firearm …. that’s still being investigated …”
The student was charged with possession of a weapon on school property, carrying a concealed firearm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief.
Prior to the arrest, the teen had at least two run-ins with school resource deputies for property damage and obstruction resulting in his placement in court diversion programs, Abollo said.