MERLIN, Ore. — A 17-year-old student of North Valley High School was arrested on Thursday — accused of bringing a loaded handgun to the school, according to the Josephine County Sheriff's Office (JCSO).
Administrators contacted JCSO just before 11 a.m., claiming that they had found a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the backpack of a student.
When deputies arrived at the school, they seized the weapon — identified as an Interarms .380 caliber handgun.
Deputies then interviewed the student and arrested him for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Possession of a Firearm in a Public Place. Investigators do not believe that the student intended to fire the gun at the school.
"The Josephine County Sheriff's Office considers school safety one of the highest priorities in public safety and will continue to immediately investigate all threats. In this incident, students and staff are to be commended for their assistance in bringing the unlawful possession to light," JCSO said in a statement.
JCSO said that they have turned to case over to the District Attorney's Office.
Josephine County schools have faced a rash of reported violent threats and subsequent arrests since the school year began, although this is the first known incident that has involved a gun being brought onto school grounds.