Teen Arrested for Bringing Rifle, Ammunition to High School in Arizona: Police

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
May 22, 2023US News
Teen Arrested for Bringing Rifle, Ammunition to High School in Arizona: Police
Bostrom High School in Phoenix, Arizona. (Google Maps/Screenshot via NTD)

Authorities in Arizona arrested a teenage student after he allegedly brought an AR-15-style rifle and ammunition to a high school in Phoenix, according to officials.

In a letter to parents, Bostrom High School Principal Michelle Gutierrez de Jimenez said staff received a tip on May 19 about a possible weapon on campus and immediately notified local police.

“Our staff immediately contacted local law enforcement, who arrived on the scene and confirmed the report to be true,” Gutierrez de Jimenez said, adding members of the Phoenix Police Department have launched an investigation in which school staff will fully cooperate.

The student, a 15-year-old who was not named, is facing several “serious felony charges” after being accused of bringing the semi-automatic rifle and ammunition to the school, Phoenix police said in a news release, according to CNN.

Authorities revealed that additional ammunition was discovered in the teen’s lunchbox and backpack, noting arriving officers “acted quickly” and detained him at the school’s main office.

The Phoenix Union High School District said in a statement that staff called local law enforcement shortly before 1 p.m. after learning of a possible weapon.

“During our investigation, we discovered the report was accurate, and local authorities intervened and confiscated the weapon,” the school district stated.

Donna Rossi, a spokesperson for Phoenix police, told NBC News that the teen was charged as a juvenile with possession of a weapon, carrying a weapon on school grounds, and interfering with an educational institution, among other weapon-related charges.

Safety Measures Enacted

In light of the incident, Gutierrez de Jimenez informed parents in her letter that “additional safety measures” are being enforced out of an abundance of caution following the incident. She also said the school will have mental health services and emotional support available for those who may need it.

Gutierrez de Jimenez also reminded students that they will not be allowed to bring backpacks on campus this week. The principal urged concerned parents and students to call the front office at (602) 764-1700 for further questions.

“As you know, the safety of our students and staff is always our top priority and a shared effort,” Gutierrez de Jimenez said. “We want to thank those who reported the incident to a trusted adult, our staff, and the Phoenix Police Department who quickly arrived on campus.”

“We recognize the severity of this situation and the fear and anxiety it causes our students and staff,” she added. “We will have social-emotional support available at school for students and staff who may need it.”

Phoenix police have also praised the response of those who informed school staff about the possibility of a student bringing a firearm onto school grounds.

“We commend those who originally reported the possibility of a weapon on school grounds to adults on campus who immediately called police,” the department said.

It was not immediately clear who the tipster or the student is, who will not be identified because the person is a minor. Neither was it clear how the student obtained the gun and ammunition.

According to the Giffords Law Center, a nonprofit gun control advocacy group, Arizona prohibits minors from possessing a firearm on school grounds except in certain circumstances such as a program approved by the school or in the case of an individual authorized by state officials to carry a firearm.

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