Central High student found with gun after campus-attack rumors surface

The Fresno BeeDecember 20, 2012 

A Central High School student carried a gun onto the west campus midday Thursday, about 24 hours after rumors spread on Facebook that someone planned to "shoot the place up," said Central Unified Superintendent Mike Berg.

The 14-year-old male student was removed from the school and no one was injured, officials said. There was no evidence that the attack rumored on Facebook was a real threat or that it was linked to the student, Berg said.

The ninth-grader reportedly was playing with ammunition on campus, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said. Deputies found a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun and more than 50 rounds of ammunition in his pockets.

Law enforcement officials approached the student shortly after noon in a classroom, where he was arrested on charges including possessing a firearm while on campus, carrying a firearm in a public place and being a minor in possession of a concealed weapon, the Sheriff's Office said.

It was the second incident involving threats on a Valley campus this week.

A threatening text message sent to a few Reedley High School students has spurred extra police officers at that campus.

The text message suggested that an incident might happen at a campus rally today, said John Campbell, assistant superintendent for Kings Canyon Unified School District.

Days before last week's school shooting in Connecticut, Reedley students had received a text message that referred to unknown people meeting at a city park with guns, officials said.

Campus security and police presence were increased after the text messages, and the rally will go on as planned, Campbell said. Reedley police could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Security at Central Unified campuses also increased after rumors of pending violence surfaced on Facebook, Berg said. Central's high schools have a deputy on campus through a contract with the Sheriff's Office.

Berg and Campbell said their districts take every possible threat seriously.

Today is the last day of classes before a three-week vacation break for both districts.

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