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Police: 2 students found with loaded handguns at East, Whetstone high schools

The students, both 17, were charged for carrying a concealed weapon in a school zone.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Students at two Columbus high schools were arrested Tuesday after police said they were found carrying a loaded gun in their backpacks.

The students, both 17, were charged for carrying a concealed weapon in a school zone.

The first incident took place at Whetstone High School, according to the Columbus Division of Police. A student arriving late to school was stopped after entering the building by a staff member. Police said the teen "made a joke" about being late because another student was showing him a handgun. 

Both students were then taken to the security office at the school and a gun was found inside one of the student's backpack by a security officer. Police said the gun was loaded with three live rounds of ammunition.

According to police, the teen was interviewed by the detective assigned to the case and he admitted to possessing the handgun prior to and when entering the high school.

A second student was arrested at East High School for bringing a loaded gun into the building. Police said staff and security officers detained the student after someone reported he was posting pictures of himself with a handgun on social media. 

The gun, found inside the student's backpack, was loaded with 33 live rounds of ammunition in an extended magazine. Police said East High School student also added to bringing the gun into the school.

A spokesperson for Columbus City Schools told 10TV their safety teams acted quickly to investigate the weapon reports and worked with Columbus police on both incidents.

Last school year, the district began implementing random metal detector screenings at high schools. According to CCS, the screenings were put in place to deter students from bringing weapons on campus and reduce any potential violent incidents.  

Full statement from the district provided to 10TV:

"Our school's greatest safety resource is the strong relationships between our students, families, staff, and safety teams. We were alerted to the possibility of weapons being on campus at each of those schools, and our safety teams acted quickly to investigate and worked with Columbus Police. The District has a Zero Tolerance policy on possession of any weapon. Students will face disciplinary measures, including the potential of suspension or expulsion if found to be in possession of any item deemed potentially dangerous to themselves or others in a school environment."

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