Two 17-year-old students were arrested Thursday at separate Clark County high schools and face likely expulsion after being found with guns on campus.
So far this year, Clark County School District police have confiscated 17 firearms on campus.
The first incident Thursday occurred at Palo Verde High School at 7:30 a.m., just before school started. A male student had left a duffel bag unattended, according to school police. When an administrator examined it, she found an unloaded 9 mm handgun and ammunition inside.
“It was unattended and she made contact with the (bag) to try to identify who it belonged to,” said Lt. Roberto Morales.
The second incident happened around 1:30 p.m. at Desert Rose High School in North Las Vegas. A student reported to school administrators that a 17-year-old female was showing off a 9 mm handgun, police say. The gun had one round in the chamber.
Neither student had made threats, and police were investigating to determine why they brought the guns to school. Both students were taken into custody without incident and will be charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on school property.
Nevada law mandates expulsion for students who bring firearms or other dangerous weapons onto campus.
Students are gaining access to guns a number of ways, school police Capt. Ken Young said, including on the black market, online and from their parents.
“There’s a variety of ways they get them,” he said.
Principals at both schools sent letters to parents informing them of the arrests and urging them to talk to their kids.
“Please take this opportunity to discuss school safety with your students. If they ever face a situation where they are unsure whether or not to share information with an adult, please remind them to never hesitate reporting anything that may be a safety issue,” said the letter from Palo Verde Principal Darren Sweikert.
The arrests came as district police said the flurry of reported threats against local schools in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was beginning to slow.
“It’s pretty much dying down, but we’re still getting rumors,” Young said.
On Wednesday, district police investigated a “non-credible threat” at Brown Junior High School in Henderson that did not result in an arrest, Young said.
Two students in Clark County were arrested last week for making threats to schools, and police investigated other threats as well. Some of those threats weren’t targeting Clark County schools but were directed at schools with similar names, police said.