2 kids arrested for trading handgun inside Hardee County school

Hardee County

(file/MGN photo)

HARDEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Two Hardee County children were arrested after deputies say they exchanged a 9mm handgun inside a school restroom on Friday.

The Hardee County Sheriff’s Office said they began their investigation when they received a tip that a 14-year-old had posted a “selfie” of himself holding the handgun. Deputies say that school officials searched the student’s belongings but did not find the gun.

When detectives asked the student about the selfie, he allegedly told investigators he had a BB gun and that it was discarded in a wooded area near his house.

Deputies say they questioned the 14-year-old once more after a search of the wooded area came up empty-handed. The student then admitted the gun was not in the woods and was instead returned to a 12-year-old, and could be located at their home.

When investigators spoke with the 12-year-old and their parents, detectives learned the gun was loaned to the other student for the weekend.

Authorities say the 12-year old took his parents Taurus 9mm from their dresser drawer and met with the other student inside a school restroom on Friday, Dec. 3. Three days later, the students again exchanged the firearm which was returned to the parent’s dresser drawer.

Deputies say both children were arrested, charged with possession of a firearm on school property, and put in the Juvenile Assessment Center.

The child’s parents were charged with failing to secure a firearm.

The Hardee County Sheriff’s Office says there is no indication there was a direct threat to any individuals or school as a whole. The investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story. Stay up to date on the latest from News Channel 8 on-air and on the go with the free WFLA News Channel 8 mobile app.

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