LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — 8 News Now has learned more details of the arrest of a student at Palo Verde High School Friday morning. According to Clark County School District Police, the gun was found in a 9th grader’s backpack.
Principal Lisa Schumacher sent a message to parents that said the school received a report of a weapon on campus and notified a school police officer, which resulted in the school being placed on a hard lockdown.
Sophomore Kaitlin Griggs, 15, had minutes of panic Friday morning.
“My teacher put us into a storage closet because I was in ceramics,” Kaitlin said while leaving campus Friday morning. “They didn’t say it was a drill or anything, so that gave me the sudden shock, that was like, ‘okay, something’s going on here.’”
Her mom, Sheri, picked her up after the principal’s email.
“Of course, I panic, and I’m also concurrently getting texts from my daughter,” Sheri added while driving her daughter off-campus.
A few classrooms over, 17-year-old Dylan Venuto said a student not normally in his senior class had a gun.
“He looked kind of suspicious to me, so I was looking at him through the reflection of my computer,” Venuto said as his father drove him off campus Friday morning. “The kid pulled the gun out of his backpack halfway, showed it to (two other students), and then put it back.”
CCSD police said a staff member alerted one of the two campus officers around 8:30 a.m. that a male student may have a gun on campus. That student was pulled out of class and arrested and the lockdown was lifted eight minutes after it started.
Schumacher’s message stated, “there were no threats to the school.” The student was taken to Clark County Juvenile Detention Center where he was booked on charges of possession of a dangerous weapon on school property, carrying a concealed weapon, and being a minor in possession of a firearm.
“I guess my teacher may have seen it. He pressed the alarm on his little key chain thing,” Venuto said.
He’s talking about a new instant alert system throughout CCSD, implemented this school year. “All schools,” according to a CCSD representative, are equipped with a lanyard that has a card connected to Wi-Fi. Once a button on this card is pressed, other staff are alerted of potential danger on campus.
However, students and parents like these believe this incident could have been prevented before this.
Venuto says there are only two entrances to classes on campus, while CCSD police confirm there were only two security guards on campus. The senior adds there are also no metal detectors on campus.
“I think that the school should have better security when it comes to, like, guns and stuff,” Venuto said. “The door’s unlocked too, so there’s nothing stopping them from getting into the school.”
Principal Schumacher’s message stated, “there were no threats to the school.” The student was taken to Clark County Juvenile Detention Center where he was booked on charges of possession of a dangerous weapon on school property, carrying a concealed weapon, and being a minor in possession of a firearm.
Schumacher encouraged parents to discuss school safety with their students and to remind them to report safety issues. Reports can be made through the SafeVoice reporting system by calling 1-833-216-SAFE (7233) or the website: safevoicenv.org There is also a free downloadable app.
Palo Verde High School is located at 333 S Pavilion Center Drive near Alta Drive, just east of the 215 Beltway.