CLARKSBURG, Md. - A Montgomery County high school student was arrested Thursday after he was found with a gun at school.
Clarksburg High School principal Edward Owusu said in a letter to parents that the school received a report at around 1:55 p.m. that a student was in possession of a weapon.
Police say school security along with a school resource officer went to 18-year-old Alwin Chen's classroom and brought the student to the school office. When he was questioned, Chen told the officer he had a handgun in his backpack and a knife in the front pocket of his shirt.
The school resource officer then recovered a loaded 9 mm handgun from Chen's bookbag and the knife from his shirt pocket, police say. The student was arrested without incident.
Chen was charged with possession of a handgun, possession of a firearm by a person under 21 years old and possession of a firearm on school property. He is being held on no bond.
Police say detectives are continuing to gather information about this case and collect evidence that will include a search of Chen's home. Police are also continuing to investigate the motive on why he brought the gun to the school.
Principal Owusu wrote in part in his letter to parents:
This illegal and dangerous behavior will not be tolerated in our school community. Weapons of any type are not permitted on or near school property. Any student caught with a weapon will be referred to law enforcement and punished accordingly.
I want to commend our staff, SRO and the security team for their vigilance, quick response and efforts to ensure that our school remains a safe place for our students to learn.
Montgomery County police are investigating this incident and we will provide additional details when they become available.
Ensuring the safety of every student at Clarksburg is a top priority and a responsibility that I take very seriously. I appreciate your support as we work to maintain a safe and secure environment for our school community. If you have any questions, please contact me at 301-444-3000.
Parents piled into a PTSA meeting Thursday night at Clarksburg High School to ask school officials about the incident and how a student could bring a loaded gun onto campus. This is a closed campus, meaning all doors are locked. However, students are not individually searched.
One parent said maybe that should change.
"We have to address it now or otherwise it is going to affect the next generation down," said Bernice Kamara. "Something needs to be done. We cannot just come and talk today and it dies down, and then it happens again and it becomes a topic. We want something done."
Because it was the end of the school day, the school was not placed on lockdown. However, Montgomery County police brought in more officers to patrol the school and the area.