A 14-year-old middle school student was arrested for having a loaded gun on campus, which prompted a lockdown of both Caloosa Middle School and Caloosa Elementary School Thursday.
According to the Cape Coral Police Department, the eighth-grade student was suspected of being in possession of a vape pen by a fellow student. The suspected student was outside of the building at that time and then brought back inside by school staff.
When he was searched, a loaded handgun was unexpectedly found inside his backpack.
At 12:20 p.m., the school administration called for a lockdown and for the school resource officer to respond, following protocol, and the resource officer detained the student.
CCPD said in a press release that “at no time was anyone’s life in danger during this encounter,” adding, “The quick response of SRO Wilcox helped in keeping the situation from escalating or the student running off campus to avoid arrest. SRO Zalenski also responded quickly and assisted SRO Wilcox.”
Parents experienced a rollercoaster of emotions during the school lockdown. It thankfully ended in relief, and they were thankful a student spoke up.
“The kid did have the bravery and the heart to go tell the proper person,” said Nick Elter, a parent of a Caloosa Middle student.
When both the middle and elementary schools were placed on lockdown, students began texting their parents.
“She was really scared because she didn’t know what was going on,” said Leydi Mejia, whose child attends Caloosa Middle. “I called, tried to call the school a couple times, but their phones were busy.”
Eventually, parents were sent an email from the principal, explaining that at no time were any students threatened.
Parents are happy to have their kids home, and that a student made a potentially lifesaving decision.
“If you see something, say something,” Elter said. “If they didn’t, who knows, you know, what could have happened?”
We chose not to name the student suspect because of his age.
Questions still remain in the investigation:
- Who does the gun belong to?
- How was a 14-year-old boy able to get the gun and bring it with him to school?
Investigators are looking into those. Police did not say if the person the boy got the gun from could also face charges.
The student faces charges of possessing a firearm on school property and possession of a concealed weapon.