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Second student arrested in Harris MS gun incident

SAISD: Handgun at middle school loaded with blanks

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SAN ANTONIO – A second student, age 14, at Joel C. Harris Middle School has been arrested for giving a .22-caliber handgun loaded with blanks to a 12-year-old seventh-grader to put in his backpack, according to Leslie Price, spokeswoman for the San Antonio Independent School District.

"The 14-year-old asked him to hold it for him, and he did by placing it in his backpack," Price said in a statement released Wednesday evening.

She said both are in Bexar County Juvenile Detention charged with possession of a firearm on a school campus.

Several hours after the Wednesday morning lockdown was lifted at the school, SAISD police determined the handgun, which accidentally discharged inside the backpack, was loaded with blanks.

Price said regardless, incidents like this result in students being expelled.

"There is a process we go through but that is a state regulation," Price said.

She said as part of the district's investigation, police will be looking into whether the students knew the gun only had blanks in it. She said the 14-year-old had given the gun to the 12-year-old earlier in the day.

Price said the backpack was placed on a table inside the fine arts classroom.

"The student actually was moving the backpack when it went off," Price said.

She said the gun was quickly confiscated and the boy was taken into custody. Price said an SAISD officer was on duty there at the time.

Although classes resumed soon after the lockdown was lifted at midday, dozens of parents lined up at the school's front door to pick up their children.

"We were over there on (Highway) 281. We came all the way over here because we have little kids," said Sandra Lerma, after being notified of the incident.

Since it wasn't learned until later the gun was loaded with blanks, many parents were anxious about the fact a weapon discharged in a classroom.

Lerma said, "I don't know why a student would bring a gun to school in the first place."