17-year-old Boca Ciega High student busted with gun at school

Pinellas County

A gun hidden in a backpack at Boca Ciega High School is behind a felony arrest and likely an expulsion for a 17-year-old student.

Other students are being credited for giving administrators a tip about the student with a gun.

Their information resulted in the arrest after the School Resource Officer found a gun in his backpack, loaded and ready to fire.

When it comes to firepower, the .40 caliber Glock handgun is a potent weapon. It’s the choice of many law enforcement agencies.

On Wednesday, acting on a tip, administrators and the school resource officer pulled a 17-year-old student out of class, searched his backpack and came up with a loaded Glock.

Parents and students are stunned.

“A lot of boys say they bring knives and stuff for protection, but they’re doing it to just scare people,” said student Kiya Hartsock.

The original tip said the gun-toting student also had drugs. There were no drugs found in his possession.

Gulfport police tell us the student didn’t display the Glock or make any threats. But that isn’t putting people at ease.

“It’s frustrating because why should I have to worry about getting stabbed or shot? I’m in all AP classes, so why do I have to walk in the hallways and be scared somebody gonna pop off?” asked Hartsock.

Boca Ciega Principal Michael Vique sent out this message to parents:

“Earlier today, Boca Ciega High School students reported to our law enforcement, that a fellow student was acting suspiciously.”

The principal commended all involved for working swiftly to keep the campus safe.

“It was really scary. I was afraid for my daughter’s life and all the kids in the school campus,” said parent Rosa Lazarda.

Boca parents are proud of the pirate reputation for being a safe school.

“It’s what everybody wants. Ya know? That’s what you want when you drop your kid off at school. Be safe and sound and ready to pick ’em up when we’re done,” said parent John Kurant.

The student told officers he bought the gun from a friend for personal protection.

Gulfport police are investigating.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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