Student arrested for bringing AR-15 rifle to Pasco HS

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) -  A Pasco High School student was arrested after police found an AR-15 rifle and ammunition inside of his truck, officials said.

Police say a school administrator first noticed shotgun shells in the students pick up truck and then discovered the rifle in the passenger seat of the vehicle.

Police arrested Dillon Nathanial Xynides, 18, of San Antonio and charged him with a third-degree felony for bringing the weapon on campus.

"Terrible decision on his part. We have no reason to believe there was a threat implied or otherwise. Poor judgment is what we can chalk this up to," said Dade City Acting Police Chief James Walters.

"I know he wasn't doing anything wrong but I know that, like the authorities, like they don't know," said Pasco High student Jalen Brownell.

"I know he wasn't trying to harm anybody, anything," said another student, Brett Perry. "But I feel like he made a big mistake."

Parents, who are already on edge following this month's mass school shooting in Parkland expressed concerns that a student at the school would bring a weapon.

"We used to do it, but we were hunting and we had em in our vehicles, but it's a different day and age now and you can't do that and they know that," said Tammy Hodock, a parent.

Other parents considered taking their children out of school.

"I just don't understand where kids think it's okay, even if they just have guns in their vehicle to carry their gun on school grounds after everything that has happened with these kids that just got killed," said Rafael Garcia, another parent.  Garcia said his son recently said he was worried about school violence.

"My 9-year-old son had asked me the other day, 'Dad am I going to die at school?'" said Garcia.

Dade City police do not believe Xynides had any ill intent and say his mother is cooperating fully with the investigation.

"By all accounts, Xynides is said to be a very good young man with no prior disciplinary actions noted by school administration. He did post a video of the firearm on Snapchat last evening, but there were no expressed threats made and the school was never placed in a lock-down," the agency said in a release.

"I don't think he should get expelled but the authorities were trying to protect all the students at the high school," said Katelyn Harris, a fellow student.

Another student at the school was arrested Friday morning for battery on a school board employee and battery on a law enforcement officer. School officials said the student arrived at the school in an agitated manner and became combative when the officer approached her. No further details are immediately available.

Pasco High School is located at 36850 State Road 52 in Dade City.

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