“What could have happened?” | Law enforcement, parents react to Harrison Central gun scare

A 15-year-old student at Harrison Central High School was taken into custody Friday morning...
A 15-year-old student at Harrison Central High School was taken into custody Friday morning after bringing a loaded handgun on campus.(Hugh Keeton)
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 10:03 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A 15-year-old Harrison Central student is facing felony charges as an adult. The student is accused of bringing a loaded hand gun to school.

“I think it’s crazy that children are getting their hands on guns and bringing them to school,” said Kaitlyn Lewis, who’s 15-year-old daughter goes to Harrison Central.

On Friday morning, the 15-year-old student allegedly had a loaded gun in the waistband of his pants as he entered a school building.

After he was arrested, Sheriff Troy Peterson said the student told investigators he was carrying the gun to protect himself from at least one other student. ”Does self protection go into somebody trying to take the gun away from him, him shooting them or him shooting other students? Nobody knows that, only him,” said Peterson. “What could have happened didn’t happen.”

Peterson credits solid training and quick action for preventing anything worse from happening. The school resource officer got a tip from a teacher about a teen with a weapon and three minutes later the student was in custody.

”It’s not if it’s going to happen, it’s when it’s going to happen,” said Peterson. “We look at all avenues and try to bring the teachers and principal up to speed of, ‘These are your gang members, these are the people that could potentially bring this to school and this is what to look for.’ If you see something, say something. That’s the biggest thing we have right now.”

“If they hadn’t shown up sooner, what could have happened?” said Lewis. “You see all these things in the news like what happened in Texas, it’s terrifying to know. You’re supposed to be able to drop your kid off at school and be like ‘okay they’re safe,’ but now you drop your kid off at school and wonder what could happen.”

The juvenile has since been charged as an adult and booked into the Harrison County Adult Detention Center charged with Possession of a Weapon on School Property. He is being held in lieu of a $10,000 bond set by Justice Court Judge Brandon Ladner pending his initial court appearance.

Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Copyright 2022 WLOX. All rights reserved.