Lincoln teen arrested after North Star High School staff find loaded gun, police say

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A North Star High School student was arrested Monday after a loaded gun was found in their backpack outside of the school, Lincoln Police say.

School staff found the backpack and then gave it to the security office.

Inside the bag, school resource officers found a loaded Taurus 9 mm handgun and other belongings that led them to a 14-year-old student.

The gun was previously reported stolen on Nov. 13 from a vehicle near Northwest 13th and West Saunders Avenue, police say.

The student denied knowing that the gun was in the bag.

During their investigation, officials learned that, shortly after arriving for school, the student was sent to the main office for an unrelated reason.

The student left the backpack outside where it was eventually found.

According to police, no threats of violence were made against students and staff.

Megan Kroll, the high school’s principal, sent a message to the families of the school that read:

We want to make you aware of this incident. We worked with the Lincoln Police and Lincoln Public Schools Student Services and Safety team on today.

This morning at approximately 9:30, our staff found a backpack outside an exterior building door. Upon further inspection of the bag, a handgun was discovered inside and we were able to quickly locate the student it belonged to. During the investigation and subsequent interviews, it was determined by Lincoln Police that the student did not intend to use the handgun at school or threaten violence towards any students or staff. The student will be facing appropriate legal and school consequences.

We appreciate the Lincoln Police Department’s quick response and thorough investigation. Police have indicated there are no further safety concerns regarding this incident.

We understand that any time there is a potential threat to the safety of our staff and students, it can cause great concern. We have staff available to assist students and help them process their emotions after hearing this news. Please contact us at school if your child needs additional support.

Here are some resources you can use as you have conversations with your child as you process these events:

Lincoln Public Schools is taking this opportunity to remind families and our community of the importance of keeping weapons and ammunition safely locked away to prevent intentional and unintentional harm. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that the most reliable and effective measure to prevent injuries in children and adolescents is an absence of weapons. Safe weapon storage reduces a child’s risk of injury.

School safety takes a community. If you or your child sees or hears something of concern, please tell any trusted North Star staff member, contact the Lincoln Police 402-441-6000, or through the green Safe to Say button on the LPS website.

The student was arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm in school and possession of a stolen firearm. They will also face punishments within the school, police say.

The student is currently lodged in the Youth Assessment Center.