The Blount County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 14-year-old boy MondayApril 11, after a school resource officer found a loaded handgun in his backpack in ninth grade at William Blount High School.
The SRO received information via a text app that the boy had a gun in his backpack and had shown it to other students, according to the BCSO.
Within minutes, the officer contacted the boy and found the gun, according to a BCSO spokesperson, who did not know how much ammunition the boy had.
The teenager was charged with carrying a weapon on school property by an offender.
Four other male students were cited for threatening mass violence at school by an offender because they knew the boy had a gun and failed to report it.
According to a Blount County Schools spokesperson, the last time a firearm was recovered from any of the district’s campuses was in 1998.
Last week, a student at Heritage High School was charged with threats of mass violence on school property or during a school-related activity after he allegedly made comments about ‘shooting’ on school.
“Additional law enforcement officers and other strategies have been deployed on our campuses,” Blount County Schools District Elementary Education and Communications Supervisor Amanda Vance wrote in a response to The Daily. Times. “Student safety is our top priority at Blount County Schools.”
“We remind students if they see anything of concern to tell our teachers or our administrative team to continue supporting everyone’s safety,” Vance said.
BCSO has used a text-a-tip app since 2010, allowing people to anonymously share information with law enforcement officers. In an emergency, people should dial 911.
To text a tip to the Blount County Sheriff’s Office using a cell phone, text it to 274637 (CRIMES) and start the message with the keyword BCSOTN. Tips can also be submitted online at www.blounttn.org/1226/Submit-a-Crime-Tip.