OREGON CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — A student at Oregon City High School who brought a gun, ammunition and a knife to school was arrested Wednesday morning without incident, police said.
A resource officer at the school received a tip just after 11 a.m. that the 16-year-old student had a handgun in his waistband, according to the Oregon City Police Department.
Resource officers leaped into action, working with patrol and school staff to identify the student. He was found in a classroom and was detained peacefully.
Cpt. Shaun Davis with the Oregon City Police Department said officers decided a direct approach would be safest.
“We don’t want to give anyone an opportunity to decide to harm someone,” he said. “We decided the best way to approach was to go in there, not alert anyone, and just go in there straight to the student.”
Police said the teen had several weapons including a handgun, ammunition and a knife.
The student was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm, 2nd-degree disorderly conduct and threat of harm.
Classes quickly resumed after the student was arrested.
“Probably most of the kids don’t even know that something happened,” Davis said.
Some students saw the suspect getting into the back of a patrol vehicle but didn’t know he was arrested for bringing a gun.
“This is supposed to be a gun-free zone and he brought a gun which is scary ’cause that could have really hurt someone,” said student Kate Wellman. “I don’t understand why this happens.”
The school was not put on lockdown.
“We were trying to react quickly and swiftly and we didn’t want to put anyone else in danger,” Davis told KOIN 6 News.
Wellman didn’t understand why the school wasn’t put on lockdown. She said the students practice lockdown drills every month.
“Seems pointless to have lockdown drills if we are not going to use them,” Wellman said.
Authorities are working to learn why the weapons were brought to the school but said there are no other threats to student or staff safety. Davis said there was nothing to suggest the student planned to use the gun on Wednesday, nor did he have any specific targets.
But authorities are taking the situation very seriously.
“It’s very serious to bring a gun to school with this day and age,” said Davis. “Luckily, nothing tragic happened and we were able to act quickly and make sure everyone was safe.”
In a letter sent to parents and guardians, Oregon City High School said police took quick action by securing a hall and clearing a classroom.
“It does not appear that the student brought the weapon to school with the intent of causing harm to others, however the investigation in (sic) ongoing. Police have given the all-clear and do not believe there is any current threat to students or staff,” wrote Oregon City High School Principal Carey Wilhelm.
Wilhelm urged parents and guardians to keep talking to students about school safety and encouraging them to report suspicious behavior to adults.
The investigation is ongoing.