Extra school security after gun, ammo found - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Extra school security after gun, ammo found

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- A student has been arrested after a gun, an electroshock weapon and 70 rounds of ammo were found at Port St. Lucie High School, according to the St. Lucie County School District and the Port St. Lucie Police Department.

As a result, there will be extra security and officers at the school Friday.

17-year-old Tavaress Lashun Smith Jr. was arrested on campus following an anonymous tip, the district said.

Police said Smith had a 9mm Taurus handgun, 1 magazine containing 12 rounds, another magazine containing 1 round, 57 loose rounds of ammunition, 1 silver necklace, 1 gold necklace, 49 pieces of prop movie money in $100 bills and a Taser-like weapon.

The district also said he had voiced threats against the school.

Police said the student knew about the firearm but didn't know it was in his school backpack.

Officers charged Smith with possession weapon-firearm on school property and possession of a weapon on school property.

Some parents rushed to the school's campus Thursday once alerted about the incident.

"I felt as a parent scared, but I felt safe for my son because he didn't know and I thought it was handled quietly and swiftly," Maria Ruggiero said. 

Her son is a freshman at Port St. Lucie High School she told WPTV she is thankful that the situation did not escalate.

Police took Smith to the St. Lucie Regional Juvenile Detention Center where he was booked.

The principal of Port St. Lucie High sent this message to parents: 

This is Principal Ocampo with an important message about an event that occurred on campus today. Acting on an anonymous tip, administrators worked with Law Enforcement Officers and School Security to take immediate action to confiscate a weapon and ammunition from a student on campus who also voiced threats against the school. The individual was arrested and will face severe consequences with a recommendation for expulsion.

Providing a safe and secure learning environment is of top priority in St. Lucie Public Schools and we take these incidents very seriously. Extensive security measures are in place to help us maintain a safe campus. Additional law enforcement officers will be on the campus tomorrow as an additional precaution.

As parents, you can help. Please take this opportunity to speak to your child about the importance of school safety. We want to encourage students to feel comfortable reporting any information they may have that compromises their safety and the safety of others. Working together, we can maintain an environment where students are free to focus on learning. Remember, if you see something, say something.

The district released this statement:

Providing a safe and secure learning environment is a top priority for St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) and incidents such as this are treated seriously.  The District encourages parents to take this opportunity to speak to their child about the importance of school safety and report any information they may have that compromises their safety and the safety of others.  Anyone with information can contact law enforcement or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 800-273-8477 to remain anonymous.  Remember, if you see something, say something.

 

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