No shots fired: Police inform parents waiting outside Samuel Fels High School that the lockdown has been lifted on Dec. 17. A senior was charged with bringing a gun to school. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTO
Police have charged an 18-year-old Samuel Fels High senior with bringing a gun into the school on Dec. 17, prompting a three-hour lockdown as police searched for the weapon.
Juan Mejias of the 100 block of Chew Avenue is charged with bringing a weapon onto school property, recklessly endangering another person, Uniform Firearms Act violations and disorderly conduct.
A police search turned up an unloaded .38-caliber revolver in a weight room trash can. Police don’t know how the gun was brought into a school that has metal detectors. The student could be expelled, said Fernando Gallard, school district spokesman.
The school was placed on lockdown shortly before 10 a.m. after a student showed administrators a cellphone photo he took of the gun, Gallard said.
Students and teachers were confined to their classrooms as police K-9 officers searched for the weapon and the man who brought it into the school. Chief Inspector Dennis Wilson announced the lockdown was ending at about 1:45 p.m. after the weapon had been found in a weight room trash can.
At about 12:30 p.m. as police vehicles began leaving the property, Capt. Frank Palumbo, the 2nd district commander, told anxious parents gathered outside that everyone was safe. Several parents said it was calls or texts from their children that had brought them to the school. Principal Shawn McGuigan told parents shortly before 1 p.m. that the lockdown was over. He gave parents the option of signing their kids out if they wished.
Earlier police on the scene said they were talking to some students, but none had been taken into custody, and that the search for the weapon extended to a student’s home. Wednesday’s lockdown was the second of the week at Fels. On Dec. 15, a report of a gun that proved false prompted a 15-minute lockdown, Gallard said. ••