Natrona County High School Student Arrested for Bringing Gun to School
A Natrona County High School student has been arrested by Casper Police after allegedly bringing a firearm to the high school on Tuesday morning.
That's according to a press release from the Natrona County School District, who stated that the student was brandishing the firearm and showing it off to other students. The incident was reported to staff, the school (and surrounding schools) went into lockdown, and police detained the student, before eventually arresting him.
"Upon receiving the report and in accordance with our comprehensive district safety plan, NCHS administrators and law enforcement took immediate action to secure the situation," the release stated. "Officials went directly to the student identified in the report. NCHS was placed into a lockdown. Students and staff remained in their classrooms with the doors locked. An unloaded gun was found in the possession of the student."
The release stated that, at first, it was reported that more students were involved in the situation, but this was proven to be unfounded.
"NCSD will be recommending student expulsion in situations where students bring weapons on campus," the release ntoed. "Student disciplinary consequences, as applicable, will be aligned with our District's Extreme Behavior Guidelines. Additionally, NCSD will encourage criminal charges to be pursued against students who bring weapons on campus."
The lockdown lasted approximately one hour, according to the press release.
"The negative impact of these safety threats on our schools and community is unacceptable," the release stated. "Students bringing weapons to any school campus is prohibited and against the law. It is not and never will be tolerated by NCSD. Safe and healthy environments are the priority of NCSD. The overall disruption this situation caused to the learning environments of multiple schools and across our community is unacceptable. The resources and time that go into these situations are critically important and incredibly extensive. Together with law enforcement, we will continue to treat every report and threat with the seriousness it deserves. The safety of students, staff, and our community are of the utmost importance to us. "
The release stated that school consequences and legal consequences will be pursued "to the fullest extent for students who bring weapons on campus."
The release also noted the school district's appreciation for the reporting party.
"It is critically important that if you see something or hear something, you say something to a trusted adult, parent, teacher, or law enforcement individual," the release stated. "We want to thank the staff and students at NCHS for your response and assistance in ensuring safety for all. Thank you to our School Resource Officers and the additional responding Casper Police Department officers for their dedication to school and community safety."
Lt. Scott Jones with the Casper Police told K2 Radio News that the CPD is extremely frustrated with this situation.
"We absolutely support what the school district said," Lt. Jones stated. "It's absolutely intolerable for someone to bring a weapon into a school. We will prosecute to the absolute fullest extent. This case has been referred to the DA's office."
Lt. Jones also said that situations like this create unsafe situations in the community, as a whole.
"The amount of manpower that we devote to this makes it so that we can't be anywhere else in the community, and because of that we're not able to respond to other calls in the community," he said. "This not only affects the school, but the community as a whole."
Lt. Jones then said that both the CPD and the Natrona County School District, as well as the District Attorney's Office, is fed up with these types of situations.
Lt. Jones could not reveal the name or the age of the student, but did state that he was not a senior in the high school.
"We very aggressively respond to these types of calls and will continue to do so," he said. "I can't say strongly enough - we're done with it. We've been done with it for a while. There's less than zero tolerance when it comes to this. If you do something as stupid as bring a weapon to school, whether you threaten somebody with it or not, there are going to be swift consequences."
NCHS went into lockdown early Tuesday morning, according to Natrona County School District Director of Public Relations Tanya Southerland.
As of 8:45 p.m., NCHS was "in lockdown as a precautionary safety measure due to a report of a weapon on campus. Law enforcement is at the school. Students and staff are safe, and we will provide more information as soon as possible."
Following that, it was announced that Park Elementary, Cottonwood Elementary, and Dean Morgan Junior High were on a precautionary lockout as well, due to the situation at NCHS.
As of 9:45 a.m., NCHS was no longer in lockdown. "They will be moving into a heightened awareness, and normal school operations will resume," the notification from NCSD stated. "Students and staff are safe. Law enforcement will remain on campus to continue the next steps of investigation of the report. More information will be coming soon regarding the report received."