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GRIFFITH — An 18-year-old was charged Wednesday with a felony and faces possible expulsion after bringing a loaded gun to school, according to court records and school officials.

Trace T. Robertson, of Griffith, told a school resource officer at Griffith High School he had mistakenly brought the gun inside the school and asked if the officer could "cut him a break," police Cmdr. Keith Martin said.

Robertson, who has a valid permit to carry a gun and carried it into the school in his pocket, asked if he could secure the gun in his vehicle in the school parking lot, police said.

The school resource officer took Robertson into custody and seized his .38-caliber Glock Model 42.

Robertson did not brandish the gun or use it in any illegal way, other than by possessing it on school grounds, Martin said.

Indiana law allows licensed handgun carriers to possess guns in school parking lots, provided they are kept out of sight and in a locked vehicle. However, state law excludes students except for those on shooting sports teams who have their principal's approval.

Guns are not allowed to be brought into school buildings. 

Robertson cooperated with police throughout the incident, police said.

Griffith Public Schools notified parents of the incident in a robocall Wednesday afternoon explaining what happened. No students or staff members were in immediate danger during the incident, the district said.

The school did not need to be placed on lockdown, officials said.

"One of our follow-ups is going to be making sure we communicate with the students that these things can’t be taken lightly," said George Jerome, the district's director of finance and operations. "Given the climate, with last week in Florida, there are just things you cannot do and have to be aware of."

Robertson faces one felony Level 6 count of possession of a firearm on school grounds.

Jerome said Thursday the district's student handbook calls for expulsion in instances like this, but he declined to comment further on Robertson's case. 


Public safety reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.

Public safety reporter

Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.