Student Arrested After Bringing BB Gun to School

Photo from the Dimond High School website.

An Anchorage high school went into lock down this morning (Tuesday, 1/8) after a student brought a gun to school.

Anita Shell is a spokeswoman for the Anchorage Police Department. She says another student saw the gun and reported it to an administrator.

“The Anchorage Police were called at about 9:37 this morning to Dimond High School in reference to a gun that was on a student,” Shell said. “A student showed another student a gun and school administration was notified who also alerted the school resource officers, and within about a minute we had 15 Anchorage Police officers in the school and the school was put into lock down while we searched the school for the subject.”

It took police just 60 seconds to respond, Shell says. No shots were fired and no one was hurt. When officers arrived, they found the student with the gun in a classroom full of students. They isolated the 15-year-old male student and arrested him within 10 minutes. The gun was a Block .40 caliber replica BB gun, she says, but upon first glimpse it appears to be a real firearm. All guns, including BB guns are banned from Anchorage schools.

Heidi Embley is a spokeswoman for the Anchorage School District. She says safety procedures worked well.

“One thing that we did learn from Sandy Hook is that the lock down procedure which the Anchorage School District has in place is effective when it is called immediately,” Embley said.

Embley says school was back in session by around 10 a.m. She says the student who reported the gun was key to the safe outcome.

“We very much appreciate that a student had the courage to tell an assistant principal – a trusted adult – someone about safety concerns,” Embley said. “That’s how these things are going to stop happening is if kids can tell adults about situations.”

“That’s how we get a lot of information about potential threats on campus.”

The student was taken to McLaughlin Youth Center. The student faces charges of Terroristic Threatening, Misconduct Involving a Weapon in the 4th degree and Assault in the 2nd degree. School District officials say the student is on emergency suspension and they will likely recommend expulsion.

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Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.

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