A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in Florida, who brought a pink phone case shaped like a novelty handgun to school sparking a lockdown, on Tuesday.
A teacher and a student approached two uniformed police officers at DeLand High School about 9:30am telling them that another student was seen with a possible gun in his pocket, according to a statement from the DeLand Police Department.
The school, serving more than 3,600 students, was placed on lockdown for 45 minutes until the officers located the teen in question and took him into custody.
Alarming fashion trend: This phone case (left and right) shaped like a novelty handgun sparked a lockdown at a Florida high school on Tuesday and led to a 15-year-old student’s arrest
The incident took place at DeLand High School, where a teacher and a student spotted what looked like a pink gun in another teen’s pocket
‘The student was searched and officers found a cell phone case molded to resemble a handgun,’ the police statement said.
The boy was interviewed by police and he said that he ordered the hot-pink gun replica cell phone case online for him and his girlfriend, reported the Orlando Sentinel.
He never made any threats against the school.
‘[The student] stated he knew bringing the case to school was a mistake and he was just doing it as a fashion trend with his girlfriend,’ according to an arrest affidavit.
The 15-year-old was charged with disruption of an educational institute, a misdemeanor, and released to his parents.
During a press conference held after the student’s arrest, DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger stressed the importance of reporting potential danger to authorities.
Deadly: The local police chief challenged the need for cell phone accessories that resemble novelty firearms, like this hot-pink handgun
DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger acknowledged that Tuesday’s incident comes at a time when schools in Florida are on high alert in the aftermath of last week’s mass shooting
‘We know that kids will be kids, but in today’s world we must be vigilant,’ he said.
‘I want to express to all of our young people out there that they should always feel comfortable coming forward with information.
‘Even if you’re not sure, we want to know.
‘You never know, you could be saving the lives of your friends.’
Chief Umberger also challenged the need for cell phone accessories that resemble firearms.
‘It makes no sense that cell phone accessories are being made to look like handguns and it makes no sense that gun manufacturers are making fatal weapons into novelties like pink handguns,’ he said.
‘But this is the reality that we are living with and what my officers have to be aware of to keep our community safe.
The police chief acknowledged that Tuesday’s incident comes at a time when schools in Florida were on high alert in the aftermath of last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 people dead.
‘I want everyone in our community to know that we take threats to our schools with the highest priority and DeLand Police will not compromise at all when it involves the safety our students,’ Umberger stressed.