Student reportedly brings hunting gun to Free State High campus; police investigating

photo by: Mike Yoder

Free State High School

Story updated at 10:35 a.m.

Lawrence police are investigating after a gun was found under the seat of a student’s vehicle Thursday at Free State High School.

“The weapon did not leave the parked vehicle,” school district spokeswoman Julie Boyle said in an email Thursday night. “We do not believe that this student intended to harm anyone.”

About 2:55 p.m., a school resource officer was approached by staff about a student who possibly had a firearm in a vehicle outside the school, 4700 Overland Drive, Sgt. Amy Rhoads of the Lawrence Police Department said.

The student was cooperative, and police took the gun, Rhoads said. She said the gun allegedly was used in a hunting trip and then left, unloaded, under a seat of the vehicle.

Rhoads said no threats were reported.

She said police would forward their case to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office to determine whether to file any criminal charges.

Rhoads did not answer what type of gun it was or how the school staff member learned of it before approaching police.

Free State staff contacted the student’s parents and initiated disciplinary action in accordance with district policy, which calls for “strict consequences” for any student found with a weapon on school grounds, Boyle said.

“While student safety was not threatened in any way, clearly the potential for concern exists when weapons are brought on campus,” Boyle said. “No weapons of any kind are allowed on our school campuses.”

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