Stolen gun found outside North Star High School; student taken into custody

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 7:34 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 11:17 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A student was taken into custody after a loaded gun was found in a student’s backpack outside North Star High School on Monday.

According to officials, North Star’s School Resource Officer was called to the security office by security staff at 9:30 a.m. after a backpack was found outside an exterior door of the school by another member of the staff.

After searching the backpack, officials found a Taurus 9mm handgun in the bag. The Lincoln Police Department said the handgun was reported stolen from a vehicle on Nov, 13 near NW 13th and W Saunders.

According to police, the gun was loaded and had bullets in the magazine. Other items within the bag identified it’s owner as a 14-year-old student.

Police said the investigation revealed that shortly after arriving at school, the student was sent to the office for an unrelated matter. LPD said before arriving at the office, the boy placed the backpack outside where a staff member found it a short time later.

No threats of violence to students or staff occurred.

The boy was taken into custody and lodged in the Youth Assessment Center for Possession of a Gun at School and Possession of a Stolen Firearm. An email from the school district said Lincoln Police determined the student did not intend or threaten to use the gun at school.

North Star High School administrators sent out an email to all staff and students in regard to the incident:

North Star students and families,

We want to make you aware of an incident we worked with Lincoln Police and Lincoln Public Schools Student Services and Safety team on today.

This morning at approximately 9:30, our staff found a backpack outside an exterior building door. Upon further inspection of the bag, a handgun was discovered inside and we were able to quickly locate the student it belonged to. During the investigation and subsequent interviews, it was determined by Lincoln Police that the student did not intend to use the handgun at school or threaten violence towards any students or staff. The student will be facing appropriate legal and school consequences.

We appreciate the Lincoln Police Department’s quick response and thorough investigation. Police have indicated there are no further safety concerns regarding this incident.

We understand that any time there is a potential threat to the safety of our staff and students, it can cause great concern. We have staff available to assist students and help them process their emotions after hearing this news. Please contact us at school if your child needs additional support.

Here are some resources you can use as you have conversations with your child as you process these events:

Lincoln Public Schools is taking this opportunity to remind families and our community the importance of keeping weapons and ammunition safely locked away to prevent intentional and unintentional harm. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that the most reliable and effective measure to prevent injuries in children and adolescents is an absence of weapons. Safe weapon storage reduces a child’s risk of injury.

School safety takes a community. If you or your child sees or hears something of concern, please tell any trusted North Star staff member, contact the Lincoln Police 402-441-6000, or through the green Safe to Say button on the LPS website.

Megan Kroll