HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Five students were arrested after a gun was brought to Hernando High School on Thursday, officials said.
At a press conference Friday, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said a school resource officer received information from a parent regarding a firearm on campus.
“Kids are going to do things that are not the brightest. This is an example of that. It may be a case of wanting to do something bad, or part of the forbidden fruit rather,” Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhaus said at a press conference.
Investigators say a 15-year-old student had stolen a firearm from a relative and gave it to a student on the bus.
Deputies said the boys met three other students in the bathroom with the intent to sell the gun, but the other party had conspired to steal the firearm.
After one of them held the gun and racked a few times, the three boys ran outside of the restroom with the firearm.
The school was put on lockdown status and nearby Parrott Middle School, Brooksville Elementary School and the Hernando County School District offices were also placed on lockdown.
Students were told to seek shelter immediately and hid in closets and in the hallways.
“We had been sitting in a little hallway for quite some time and it really scared me when [School Resource Officer Bill] Pope came through with a big gun. All these other cops came through looking for someone,” Alexandria Jester told News Channel 8.
Authorities said one of the boys said he was sick and had his parents sign him out of school. Then he took the gun home and hid it under a mattress, where officers later found two other firearms.
“He went home with one of his parents and he actually hid the weapon underneath a mattress at a relative’s house. And we found these weapons in addition to the 9 mm Ruger. We found two other firearms and a BB gun,” Nienhaus said.
Four of the teens were charged with grand theft of a firearm, and two of them were charged with possession of a firearm on school property.
News Channel 8 isn’t disclosing their names at this time because they’re minors.
The superintendent of schools, John Stratton, said schools in Hernando County don’t have metal detectors.
“We are continuing accessing that exact thing, school safety and the safety of students on our campus,” he said.
All five boys face expulsion, Stratton said.