A 15-year-old male student at Reservoir High School in Fulton has been charged with carrying an unregistered, loaded handgun to school property, Howard County Police said in a news release Tuesday.
The student left the school without permission Tuesday to get fast food, police said. When he returned at about 12:30 p.m., school staff, following protocol, advised him that his bag would be searched, and he decided to leave, the news release said.
He was later seen dropping something in the woods, police said. A school staff member located the loaded handgun and reported it to police, according to the release.
Police say the handgun was not stolen and that they’re working on how the student got it. There have been no reports that he threatened anyone at the school or any indication of what caused the incident, the release said .
No additional evidence or weapons were found after searching the student’s home in Laurel, police said. The investigation is ongoing.
In a letter posted on the Howard County Public School System website, Superintendent Michael Martirano said additional security assistance and student support will be provided at the school Wednesday for those who have questions or need social-emotional support.
“Considering recent school shootings and other events that have impacted schools nationally, including today marking the anniversary of the tragic Sandy Hook incident, I know that many of you are feeling anxious,” he said. “I want to assure you that HCPSS takes all reports and threats seriously and will continue to work cooperatively with public safety and other agencies.”
There has been an increase in threats of violence on social media and physical violence in schools over the past several weeks, Martirano said.
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“Please talk to your children about the seriousness of threats of violence and have conversations at home about how they may be feeling,” he said. “If you have weapons in your home, please secure them so that our children do not have access.”