POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — An 18-year-old is accused of having a fake gun at a Catholic school on Wednesday in Polk County, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The man was allegedly at Resurrection Catholic Church and private school in Lakeland at about 12:15 p.m. with a fake gun that appeared to be real, according to the sheriff’s office.
He was spotted by a school employee, who called 911 and told another employee to lock down the school, deputies said.
Surveillance photos were released on social media, which the man saw, deputies said. He called the sheriff’s office while they were on the way to the home the vehicle was registered to.
Deputies said the man claimed he went to the church to pray when he noticed the gun in the backseat of the car. He allegedly said it was “jammed” so he was shaking it in the front seat when he fired it into the floorboard, according to the sheriff’s office.
“I thank the staff and leadership of the Resurrection Catholic Church school for making sure there is a school resource deputy on campus to help protect their students and faculty from harm,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “I also sincerely appreciate the person who let us know they saw who they believed was a man in the parking lot with a gun.”
Judd said the man was in custody within 2.5 hours, and reminded everyone to say something if you see something.
He’s charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing/interrupting school function, both second-degree misdemeanors, according to the sheriff’s office.