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LC student faces felony gun charges

Thu., Nov. 15, 2007

A 14-year-old Lewis and Clark High School student was arrested Wednesday and faces felony charges for allegedly carrying a loaded gun near campus.

The school was locked down about noon, after school resource officer Dan Johnson received a report that the student had been seen carrying the weapon, school officials said.

Johnson immediately notified Spokane police, said Terren Roloff, school district spokeswoman.

Officer John Everly located the teen near Fourth Street and Howard Avenue, and found a loaded .357-caliber Magnum revolver in his coat pocket, police officials said.

Though school officials would not confirm it, Spokane police Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said police determined the teen had carried the Smith & Wesson handgun while on campus. It’s an important distinction; under the school district’s zero tolerance policy, a student who brings a weapon to school could face expulsion.

Citing federal privacy laws, the district does not comment on the disciplinary actions of students, but “the protocol is to emergency expel a student who is suspected of having a gun on campus,” Roloff said.

That action is typically followed by a school district investigation, she said.

“I have not had confirmation that he was on campus and school staff has not had the opportunity to interview the student yet,” Roloff said.

Roloff said it is unclear whether the place where the student was arrested – under the freeway across the street from LC – can be considered part of the school’s campus.

“LC is in a unique position there, downtown,” Roloff said.

Police said the student was booked into the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center for alleged possession of a stolen firearm and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, both felony charges.

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