TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa police said they found a gun in a middle school student’s backpack on Wednesday.
The Franklin Middle School student was arrested after another student told the school resource officer that the student was showing the gun off to others, police said.
The officer and school staff members found the 13-year-old student in the cafeteria. He was taken to another room where his backpack was searched.
The school resource officer found a loaded semi-automatic pistol in the backpack. The student told the officer that he brought the gun from his home for protection.
No threats were made to the school or any students, police said.
The student was arrested for possession of a firearm on school property.
“We’re only a month into the school year and this is now the third time in the city we have unfortunately have had to report on a student being arrested with a weapon on campus,” said Crystal Clark with the Tampa Police Department.
Clark says, in this case, a student did the right thing but more can be done to protect students.
“It’s not just on the students to say something, it’s also on the parents to talk to their kids. Make sure if they own weapons know where they are at in their homes and that they are properly secured,” Clark said.
Hillsborough County School Superintendent Addison Davis says the arrests show students are reporting weapons when they see them.
“They see what’s going on across this nation and they see historical tragic events that’s happened in Uvalde, that’s happened in Parkland and they want to be safe,” said Davis.