Reports of a gun on campus lead Joplin authorities to arrest a Joplin High School student.
It all started around 8:30 this morning when a student overheard talk of a gun at the school. He reported that to school leaders who tracked down the 14 year old boy.
“Apprehended student and did indeed discover there was a weapon so determined there was no direct threat or intent to hurt that student or others,” says Dr. Melinda Moss, Joplin R-8 Superintendent.
The JHS school resource officer and Jasper County juvenile officer took charge of the student. They determined he had the handgun in his backpack and that it had been stolen in a theft in northwest Joplin a month ago.
“The vehicle was parked at a residence, the owner had forgotten it in the vehicle and had also left the vehicle unlocked overnight and then determined it was stolen,” says Capt. Trevor Duncan.
The unnamed 14 year old is now in the custody of juvenile authorities for unlawful use of a weapon. And operations at Joplin High School returned to normal.
“We were assured it was safe to continue school and the normal school day,” says Dr. Moss.
The investigation continues – and school administrators say there’s no determination yet about how the student will be punished.
“Look to possible suspension and even going beyond that depending on the circumstances may sometimes lead to expulsion,” says Dr. Moss.
Meanwhile Joplin police are using this as a reminder to gun owners not to leave their weapon unattended – and to drivers not to leave doors unlocked. The case remains under investigation.