Cops: Portage middle school student brought gun to school

2012-10-26T14:00:00Z 2012-10-27T11:11:51Z Cops: Portage middle school student brought gun to schoolJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | A 14-year-old Willowcreek Middle School student was arrested this week after allegedly bringing a stolen handgun to school.

The boy, who earlier in the week had been suspended from school and arrested on a possession of marijuana charge, is facing charges of dangerous possession of a firearm, a misdemeanor, and criminal gang activity, a felony.

According to police, School Resource Officer Greg Coleman received information Monday from a student that the student saw two other students on the school bus the previous week with handguns. During his investigation, Coleman contacted one of the students, a 12-year-old, who admitted possessing a BB gun last week at school. The student led Coleman to the BB gun, which he had hidden outside of his home. He was expelled from school.

The student then told Coleman that a second student had a real handgun.

On Wednesday that student was identified and Coleman made contact with the 14-year-old boy's mother, who gave Coleman and fellow School Resource Officer Mike Candiano permission to search her home. Officers located a handgun between the mattresses of the boy's bed.

The boy was brought by his mother to police for questioning and allegedly told police he had stolen the handgun two weeks ago from an 18-year-old friend in Gary. The boy also allegedly told police he was actively involved with the Gangster Disciples and their gang activity. He was arrested and transported to the juvenile detention center.

"I would like to commend the actions of both school resource officers. Officer Coleman and Candiano's diligent efforts took a loaded weapon off the streets of our city and put those who participated in this kind of activity on notice that we will not tolerate this type of activity in our community," Police Chief Troy Williams said.

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