Student arrested after bringing gun to Thomas Jefferson High School

Police believe the student discarded the handgun during or at the end of a fight with another student and retrieved it again later in the day.

A 15-year-old Thomas Jefferson High School student was arrested Thursday after bringing a gun onto campus during an altercation with another student on Wednesday.

The student, who had been expelled from school, returned to campus on Wednesday with the intent of starting a fight with another student, stated Cmdr. Kurt Schwan with the Federal Way Police Department.

The altercation, which occurred near the music building, was broken up by school staff, security and the school resource officer. Schwan noted the student was not armed at the conclusion of the fight.

“A pat down was conducted by the [school resources officer],” Schwan stated. “The fact that the suspect was armed was not disclosed to the officer until the following day.”

The officer received reports on Thursday that the expelled student had been armed with a handgun at the time of the incident, Schwan stated.

“It is believed he discarded the weapon during or at the conclusion of the altercation and retrieved it again later in the day,” Schwan stated.

Officers went to the 15-year-old student’s home and arrested him for possession of a firearm. He was booked into King County Juvenile Detention.

Thomas Jefferson principal Adrienne Chacon notified the school’s parents and families about the incident in an email on Thursday afternoon.

“As you know, safety is a top priority at our school. We have effective staff and systems in place every day to make our school a safe place to learn,” Chacon stated. “The purpose of this letter is to let you know it was reported to school administration that a student may have been in possession of a weapon on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.

“Once school administration was made aware, we immediately reported to the Federal Way Police Department, and they are investigating.”

Chacon stated in her message that Federal Way Public Schools has a strict policy regarding weapons, which are not allowed on school campuses. Any student in possession of a weapon will be disciplined in accordance with policy.

She continued: “Safety is a shared responsibility. In addition to the strong system we have in place to address misbehaviors and administer appropriate consequences, we would like to ask our parents and families to reinforce our high expectations for appropriate student behavior and keeping our campus safe.”

Chacon asked families and students who hear or see anything that makes them concerned for anyone’s safety to call or text the Safe Schools Tip-Line at 253-945-SAFE (7233), or contact the school at 253-945-5600.

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