Montgomery County student who brought gun to school had cache of weapons at home, officials say

A Montgomery County student who allegedly brought a loaded gun to school had a cache of weapons inside his home, including two rifles, a shotgun, a ballistic vest, inert grenades, two handguns and a replica electrical firing device and ammunition.

Alwin Chen was arrested on Thursday after authorities said he brought the loaded handgun to Clarksburg High School. On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 18-year-old to be held without bond.

"Multiple people, including the crisis intervention team and the court diagnostic team that screened him before before the bond review, were all making recommendations that there be a psychiatric evaluation for dangerousness. They did in fact order that evaluation and there is no court date yet set in this matter," Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy explained on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Chen had a list of grievances against other students on him when he was arrested. When investigators later searched his home in Germantown they said the cache of weapons was located.

Chen was arrested after he was pulled out of class after the school received a report that a student was in possession of a weapon. Chen told police that he had a gun in his backpack and a knife in his shirt pocket, according to authorities. According to officials, Chen originally told officers he had the gun so he could take part in target practice after school. That story evolved to include that Chen had brought the gun to school for protection and that he had been bullied, authorities stated.

Prosecutors said it was not the first time Chen had brought a gun to school, but did not make it clear how police had learned that information.

"Mr. Chen was cooperative at all times. There were no allegations that he made any specific or even general threats to anyone. There was no statement that he showed the alleged weapon to anyone. There is no allegation that he presented a danger," Chen's defense attorney David Felsen said.

Chen's defense team said it had not viewed the alleged list of grievances.

Montgomery County police put out a press release later Tuesday evening clarifying that the inert grenades and replica firing device were, in fact, replicas. Authorities said no explosive devices were located in Chen's home.

Officials also stated a journal had no threats or any wording indicating he wanted to harm anyone at the school. At this time, police said it appeared the seized guns were legally purchased and belonged to people living in his home, though they did not specify if they belonged to Chen or a family member.

Anyone with information that could aid detectives in their investigation was urged to call the Montgomery County Police Department's Firearms Investigations Unit at (240) 773-6400.