BURTONSVILLE, Md. - A 17-year-old Silver Spring boy has been charged with bringing a stolen handgun to Paint Branch High School, Montgomery County police said.
According to police, a school resource officer at Paint Branch was informed at around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday that a person who did not attend the high school fled from the building after he entered by giving a false name and providing a false student identification number.
Police said the officer and a school security employee located 17-year-old Elijah Nyamekye walking on Briggs Chaney Road at Columbia Pike located nearby the high school after he matched the description of the trespassing suspect. When the officer stopped to speak with Nyamekye, the suspect tried to flee the area.
However, the school resource officer detained and arrested the 17-year-old boy. School security personnel identified Nyamekye as the suspect who trespassed in the school, police said.
After Nyamekye's arrest, a loaded .38 revolver was found inside a black shoulder bag in his possession. The gun was later determined to have been reported stolen from Pennsylvania.
Nyamekye has been charged as an adult with possession of a handgun, possession of a firearm by a person under 21 years old, possession of a stolen handgun, trespassing on school property and disrupting school activities.
Paint Branch High School principal Dr. Myriam Yarbrough said in a letter to parents:
"Dear Parents and Guardians,
"I am writing to inform you of a serious incident that occurred this afternoon. During lunch, our security staff identified a trespasser on school property. Members of the security team attempted to speak with the individual who then fled the building. We immediately notified our School Resource Officer and Montgomery County Police. The trespasser was detained off of school property and it was discovered that he was in possession of a loaded gun. The trespasser was taken into custody by Montgomery County Police.
"I want to commend our security staff for their vigilance and quick response. This type of attentiveness helps us support a safe and healthy school environment.
"We are committed to maintaining a safe, secure learning environment for our students and staff every day. As always, we appreciate your support in keeping our school safe. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me."