ASO: Hawthorne student, 16, arrested with gun on campus

Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 1:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 1:59 p.m.

A student at Hawthorne Middle/High School was arrested Friday morning on allegations he brought a gun onto campus after authorities say he was spotted getting out of his car and firing the weapon on his way to school, according to reports.

Alachua County Sheriff's Office spokesman Art Forgey said authorities do not believe the 16-year-old was planning to use the .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun at school.

The student was found by school resource Deputy Josh Mitchell after a witness reported seeing the shot being fired earlier.

“There is no indication that he was going to shoot the school up, but this is just a perfect example of why we are there — to try to prevent things like this,” Forgey said.

ASO received a call at 7:43 a.m. regarding a person firing a gun outside of a maroon Chevrolet Impala at Southeast 152nd Street between Hawthorne Road and County Road 2082. That is the Grove Park area a few miles west of Hawthorne.

ASO broadcast descriptions of the shooter and the car, and Mitchell recognized the car.

Forgey said Mitchell was in the school parking lot when the teen drove up and sat in his car. Mitchell, meanwhile, waited as backup deputies arrived.

The teen got out of his car with two gym bags and put one of them in the trunk, Forgey said.

Mitchell asked the teen to walk over to him and told him he fit the description of a person who was seen firing a shot. The youth initially denied having a gun or knowing about the incident but eventually admitted he fired the shot, Forgey said.

A gun was found in the gym bag in the trunk. The teen was arrested on charges of possession of a firearm on school grounds, possession of a firearm by a minor and discharge of a firearm in public.

He was taken to the Juvenile Resource Center.

“They think it was a family member's gun, and that is how he got it,” Forgey said.

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