Middle School students arrested after loaded gun found

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. -- Multiple students at John F. Kennedy Middle school were arrested on Friday after they were allegedly caught handing a loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun in the classroom.

Palm Beach County School District police said two students were arrested and booked at the Palm Beach County Juvenile Detention Center. Detectives are interviewing other students who might be involved.

Investigators said a teacher spotted at least two boys passing the firearm amongst each other.

The teacher notified administrators who then called police.

"Where on earth would they get a gun?" said Kameika Armstrong, a parent whose son attends the school.

Armstrong was shocked to hear that the gun made it on campus on Friday.

"I mean it happens all over the world, but I don't expect it in a middle school," said Armstrong.

Her 7th grade son, Jahmord Dinnal, said he did not even know about the incident. Dinnal said he is now a little nervous about school.

"I don't want to die or anything and I don't want some of my friends to die or anything," said Dinnal.

School district police chief Lawrence Leon said the threat is real.

"Well it could have been dangerous because there have been numerous situations where just accidental discharges have happened where students have been injured," said Leon.

His push in the aftermath of the incident is for more students to report similar activity the moment they see anything suspicious.

Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters said now is the time to install metal detectors throughout the district.

"People say, 'We don't want our schools to look like prisons.' I don't either. But I would prefer my school to look like a prison than look like a cemetery," said Mayor Masters.

Mayor Mastors said metal detectors are just one more deterrent that could prevent a loaded gun from being brought on campus.

"We have them in city hall. So aren't our children just as valuable as us old people? I think they are," said Masters.

Armstrong agrees that something needs to change saying that next time might end differently.

"I don't want my son being hurt, that's my only son. I'm furious as a mother. I really don't want that to keep happening here," said Armstrong.

The students who were arrested face felony charges of possession of a firearm according to district police.

Why they had the gun and where it came from is under investigation.


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