Update: Student who brought gun to school remains in juvenile custody

An east Texas teen has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon in a prohibited place after authorities say he brought a loaded 22 caliber handgun to school.

Kilgore High School officials discovered the gun on Friday.

School officials tell us Kilgore school police officers got a tip from another student that the loaded gun was located in the ceiling of a bathroom, and that's just where they found it. Now, even though no students were hurt during this incident, parents are still concerned about their child's safety.

"It a scary deal and I have two kids in the middle school and my youngest daughter says that she's afraid to go to high school," said Tonya Willis, a concerned parent. "She said, 'Mama, I'm scared to go to high school...that's why I'm scared to go to high school, because they bring guns.'"

Willis owns Circle Café in Kilgore, and she's one of several parents concerned that a student brought a gun on Kilgore's high school campus.

"The wrong person could see it and panic, and then you've just got a blood bath for no reason when all someone was doing was trying to sell the stupid gun," said Dot Hadaway, who has grandchildren in the high school.

"We're getting in to a time right now where I believe even in our small towns we need to have our children protected and I believe strongly in our metal detector in and out of the campuses," said David Willis.

It is plainly posted that guns are prohibited on campus, but Kilgore ISD Assistant Superintendent Bobby Wheeley says the 15 year old student ignored the rules to make a quick buck.

"It appears that this student just wanted to make some money, to be honest with you, and wanted to find someone to sell a gun to get some cash in his pocket," said Wheeley.

Kilgore ISD says they could look into more security measures later, but right now their school officers have it covered.

"You can't avoid some things happening, but we feel like we have two resource officers on campus all the time right now, who are there every day the school is in session," said Wheeley.

"I have know fear of my grandchildren going to school," said Hadaway. "I feel that Kilgore is doing the best they can and staying on top of things. I've been up there and seen the security walking the halls and I think they're on top of everything."

The student who allegedly brought the gun to school was taken to the juvenile detention center, and he has been suspended from school.

There is a meeting tonight at 7:00 pm, and the school board will consider expelling the student for the rest of the year.


Late Monday night, a judge ordered the student who brought the gun to school to remain in juvenile custody for at least 10 more days, and the school board says they will decide by next Tuesday whether or not to expel him.

At tonight's board meeting, the superintendent also explained why they are waiting until next week to decide the student's fate at the school.

"There's an amount of time that we want to post the hearing so that we can get all the information together. We can make sure we've got everything that we need. We have to send letters out to that students parents and give them plenty of time to prepare if they have anything they want to say about the case," said Superintendent Jody Clement. "I want to assure the parents that if this student did have this gun on campus, then he will be expelled and we will remove that student from campus."

Right now, the teen has been suspended from school pending the investigation.

We will continue to follow this story and will have any updates for you on KLTV 7 and KLTV.com.

LaKecia Shockley, reporting. lshockley@kltv.com