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Tue., Oct. 6
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Indian River High School student arrested for bringing rifle to class


PHILADELPHIA — Indian River High School went into lockdown Wednesday after a science teacher noticed a rifle in a case being carried by a 15-year-old student.

Superintendent James Kettrick said the rifle was quickly secured and the police were notified.

No one was hurt during the incident and the high school remained under lockdown until the end of the school day.

Mr. Kettrick said the rifle was in a carrying case that was wrapped in a blanket when the teacher discovered it around 1 p.m.

“When the student went to open the case, the teacher recognized the rifle and acted quickly,” Mr. Kettrick said. “We got the call and went into lockdown around 12:40 or 1 p.m.”

The incident happened at the end of seventh period, when sheriffs said the student opened up a case that contained the rifle.

The school resource officer Deputy Carrie Mangino and high school principal Troy Decker responded to the classroom. Mr. Kettrick said the unidentified student was compliant and no staff or students were threatened or injured. The student had “a detailed plan that was put into motion several months prior to today’s events,” according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

State police, sheriff’s deputies and a Sheriff’s K-9 unit responded to the school, as did the student’s parent. Both the weapon and the student were in custody as of Wednesday afternoon.

Mr. Kettrick said a message went out to parents and family members of district students about an hour after the incident at about 2 p.m. and a notice of emergency was posted on the district’s website.

School was let out 10 minutes later than usual, and no afterschool activities were disrupted or canceled.

“There were a lot of people calling to see if everyone was all right. We assured them that everyone is fine,” Mr. Kettrick said. “Right now I just want to reassure everyone that no one was hurt and the police are continuing to investigate.”

“There really was a tragedy avoided today,” Jefferson County sheriff’s Detective David J. Pustizzi said.

Anyone with questions is asked to call the school district’s main office at 642-3427.

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