WACO, Texas (KWTX) A Midway High School student was arrested Tuesday morning after showing up with a pellet gun and making “a verbal threat in the presence of witnesses,” interim Principal Brent Merritt said in a letter to parents.
The pellet gun was not loaded, Merritt said.
“The student and pellet gun were detained before the first bell. No students were in direct danger or harmed,” he wrote.
The 16-year-old student, who was not identified, faces a misdemeanor charge of terroristic threat, Merritt said in the letter.
“Threats towards other students are taken very seriously by MHS administrators, and we will do all we can to maintain the safety and security of our students and staff,” he said.
“We are grateful for the trust and relationship we have with students who immediately reported this situation so we could address it quickly.”
MHS has two School Resource Officers; one works for Hewitt Police, the other for Woodway Public Safety.
Hewitt PD’s SRO was nearby and talking to an administrator when several students came up to them to report the threat.
“They actually saw him take it from his waistband and put it into a backpack,” said Jim Devlin, Chief of the Hewitt Police Department.
According to the students, the classmate, who they thought had a real gun, made a vague threat along the lines of “I’m gonna take care of business today.”
The weapon turned out to be a Black Ops BB/Pellet pistol, which police said strongly resembled a real handgun.
“It doesn’t matter if its a pellet gun or not, in conjunction with the threat, it makes it very credible,” said Devlin.
Police found the weapon and arrested the student. He was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center where the courts will determine what happens to him next.
Parents with kids in the freshman class who were picking up their students after school Tuesday were worried about the incident.
“I’m stunned, that’s unacceptable,” said James Moore, father of two Midway HS students. “You take your kids to school and you think they’ll be in a safe environment and then you hear something like that, it’s kinda scary actually.”
Moore wasn’t happy, but said it was a problem that probably needed to be dealt with in the home and didn’t know what the school could do.
“Youcan’t control every kid that comes in there but, I dunno, we don’t want metal detectors or anything like that and if it was a pellet gun it probably wasn’t metal anyway,” said Moore.
Another parent with two students wanted an even greater police presence at the school.
“There needs to be appropriate funds to have enough officers here on campus to handle the problems,” said Ashley Sanders.
She said she was worried because another threat was made against the school recently, and the threats appear to be escalating.
“I’m hearing from my girls that there’s more threats that the kids are making and its getting seemingly more violent at school,” said Sanders.
Police arrested another student in January for threatening to “shoot up the school.”
Midway Independent School District officials said they are unable to comment on student disciplinary action publicly, but they said the district has a great system in place for reporting suspicious behavior.
“Our See Something, Say Something Program is integral in our reporting options,” said Midway ISD spokesperson Traci Marlin. “We have online, in-person, drop boxes, hotlines, and anonymous options for reporting any suspicious behavior.”