Auburn Riverside High School. COURTESY PHOTO, Auburn School District

Auburn Riverside High School. COURTESY PHOTO, Auburn School District

Student brings gun to Auburn Riverside High School

Auburn Police arrest 15-year-old for unlawful gun possession; gun was unloaded

Auburn police arrested a 15-year-old Auburn Riverside High School student on March 7 after the student reportedly brought a handgun to campus.

Auburn police received a report about the gun at approximately 10:41 a.m. from assistant principal Kyle Jones, according to the Auburn Police Department.

School officials received an anonymous report from a student regarding another student with a gun on campus after having seen pictures on social media, according to a message sent to families from Janalyn McKeehan, principal of Auburn Riverside High School.

The pictures showed the student posing with a gun in the school bathroom, according to Kolby Crossley, public information officer for the Auburn Police Department.

School officials notified the school’s resource officer of the anonymous tip and immediately investigated the allegation, according to McKeehan.

School officials located and interviewed the student with the assistance of the school’s security officer and school resource officer, according to Crossley. In the interview, the student admitted to having a gun.

School officials conducted a search of the student’s backpack and confiscated an unloaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

Police received notification of the incident, responded to the scene, and booked the student into King County Juvenile Detention for investigation of unlawful firearm possession.

According to McKeehan’s message, the student did not threaten or intend to harm anyone.

“Regardless, the simple fact it was on our property is extremely concerning and something we dealt with immediately,” McKeehan said.

McKeehan’s message stressed the importance of students reporting concerning information to adults or through the school’s anonymous tip line. McKeehan asked families to take the time to discuss the “importance of speaking up” with their children.

When the district receives reports of potential threats or weapons on campus, “there is no one-size-fits-all response,” said Vicki Alonzo, public information officer for the Auburn School District, in an email. “It depends on the circumstances.”

Alonzo said the district addresses safety and security on many different fronts including threat assessment training for its employees; fire, earthquake and lockdown drills; school safety officers and school resource officers; building safety standards for locking doors; and more.

“This is why we have school resource officers in place,” Crossley said in his email. “To help with these situations.”

The 15-year-old student will not be allowed on campus during the police investigation and while awaiting subsequent disciplinary action from the school.

When asked regarding what disciplinary action the district will take in regards to the 15-year-old student, Alonzo said the district will not comment on individual student discipline.

Crossley said detectives assigned to the case will likely file the case with Auburn city prosecutors.

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