Boy who took gun to LHS this week stole it from parent, charges allege
photo by: Mike Yoder
Criminal charges have been filed against a boy who reportedly was carrying a gun on his person at Lawrence High School this week.
He’s charged as a juvenile with theft, a felony, for allegedly stealing the gun from his mother, and also with criminal use of weapons, a misdemeanor, for allegedly possessing a gun with a barrel shorter than 12 inches while under the age of 18, according to the complaint filed in Douglas County District Court.
The boy was in law enforcement custody when he made his first appearance in court Thursday afternoon.
Before proceeding with discussions, however, juvenile Judge Bethany Roberts ordered the hearing closed to the public. A reporter and two people whom the boy’s attorney identified as his sister and girlfriend were asked to leave.
“I find it is not in his best interests for the hearing to be open,” Roberts said, noting that the boy was younger than 16.
The boy was arrested at LHS on Tuesday after administrators and Lawrence police officers, “acting on a tip that a student may have a gun at school,” conducted a search and confiscated the weapon, a district spokeswoman previously told the Journal-World. She said the gun was found on the student’s person.
The gun was loaded with a magazine, but there was not a round in the chamber, according to Lawrence police.
There was no incident involving the gun and no reported threats or injuries, according to police and the school district.
The incident was the second time in a week that an LHS student was arrested on suspicion of having a gun at school, spurring the district to bulk up police presence there this week. After that announcement, another safety-related incident occurred Wednesday, when police and the district said they were investigating a Free State High School student who allegedly threatened on social media to shoot an LHS student at LHS.
The student arrested in the Feb. 6 gun incident at LHS has been charged as a juvenile with two misdemeanors: criminal use of weapons and property damage, for allegedly damaging a window at the school.
The gun in that incident was loaded with a magazine and had a bullet in the chamber, according to police.