16-year-old charged after gun found at White Station High School, police say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 16-year-old is facing charges after bringing a gun to school according to a Memphis Police Department (MPD) spokesperson.

Memphis Police were called to the White Station High School campus regarding a student who was armed Thursday morning.

“It is reported that the gun was secured and not in the hands of the juvenile when it was found,” police said.

There were no injuries and no shots were fired.

The teen was charged with Carrying a Weapon with intent on School Property, Possession of a Handgun by Juvenile, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and Theft of Property $1,000 to $2,500 to wit: handgun.

Police said the 16-year-old was taken to Juvenile Court.

Memphis police confirmed the school was put on a “soft lockdown” while they investigated the incident.

“It didn’t feel real,” said Kerris Randle. A wave of fear rushed over the ninth-grader when she learned her high school was on lockdown.

“I was just thinking about the Texas shooting. And I just couldn’t let that happen,” said Randle. “It’s horrible what happened in Texas. And my thoughts and prayers go out to all the people out there. And I was just hoping and praying nothing like that happened here.”

Memphis-Shelby County Schools (MSCS) sent FOX13 the following statement:

“White Station High School has been placed on a precautionary lockdown while MSCS Security and local law enforcement responded to the report of a concealed weapon on campus. One student has been detained. At no time has there been any threat against students or staff.

A search of the school has been conducted and the District is notifying families about the lockdown. MSCS Security and school administration followed District protocols and procedures as we continue to prioritize the safety of students.

We appreciate the swift action of our security team that quickly addressed the matter.”

MORE: MSCS security and safety review not open to public, district says

According to MSCS, the district learned about a weapon at White Station High School through students who tipped off administrators on campus.

“We believe this tip reflects a culture of trust between students and adults. We often remind students: ‘If you see something, say something,’” the district said.

The student reportedly brought the weapon for protection to and from school. MSCS said that at no time was there a threat against students or staff.

Families were notified about the incident through a robocall and text.

“All is good. And it’s a wonderful thing. Now, I can go home and sleep,” said Kevin Randle.

There were many warm embraces when, after several hours, parents were reunited with their kids.

“It’s very scary. You hug your kids tighter. You think about the possibilities. You mourn for the families dealing with this. Not only in Uvalde, but Buffalo, New York,” said SCHD Director Michelle Taylor.

According to MSCS, White Station High School conducts daily random walk-throughs and wand metal detection.

“It’s really important we look at an example like this to make sure we have the proper protocols in place,” said Taylor.

The threat of gun violence came knocking on Taylor’s door, nearly a year and a half after the health department declared gun violence a public health crisis.

“You see parents here, picking up their children. Making sure they’re safe, but also really thinking about what we as a community can do to make this stop,” said Taylor.

Students can text tips by sending “SCS” to 274637.