NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A student was caught with a gun Thursday morning at a middle school in the Bronx, police said.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, the 13-year-old was arrested at the Bronx Park Middle School, at 2441 Wallace Ave. in Bronxville, where investigators he had a handgun in his book bag.
They said the .22-caliber handgun was unloaded and no students, that they know of, were threatened with it.
The boy was placed in police custody. His mother joined him in the principal’s office for questioning, Carlin reported.
“He brings bad environment to the school,” said one 12-year-old student whose parents asked that his face not be shown.
The boy’s classmates in the recreation area behind the school seemed unaware of what happened. But the boy who spoke to CBS2 said he was well aware, because he was in a bathroom with the young suspect – whom he called a known bully. He said the boy who was arrested showed what was in his bag to at least one other student.
“My friend that saw it, he whispered in my ear, ‘Oh, he got the grip,’ and by the grip, they means gun,” the boy said.
Longtime residents who live near the school said incidents where police are called are rare.
“I’m shocked,” one woman said.
“That’s not good, man,” a man added.
A school safety officer called police after getting a tip from a student.
The school does not have metal detectors or pat downs.
“They should bring more security,” the man said.
“So I really think they should have a detector installed,” said one woman named Yvonne.
“They should bring more security,” said parent Julio Garcia.
CBS2 spoke to the suspect’s family members inside the 49th Precinct stationhouse, but they did not want to go on camera.
This comes after another case with a different suspect Late Last Month. A student stabbed two teen classmates, killing one of them, inside a nearby Bronx high school.
“What’s going on with all the schools now?” said Mary Concepcion, “First we had the stabbing with those two kids, and now in this school.”
Republican candidate for mayor Nicole Malliotakis told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb that discipline has been way too relaxed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s school climate reforms program. She claimed students aren’t being properly punished.
“If they come into the classroom with drugs, we’re no longer punishing them significantly. If we are seeing them with weapons or if we’re seeing them disrespect their teachers, or their principals or even assaulting their principal now — this is the message that we are sending to our young people,” she said Thursday. “That they can enter into school and they can pretty much do whatever they want.”
Malliotakis also called the mayor’s reforms a “contributing factor” to last week’s school stabbing.
Meanwhile, CBS2 has been demanding answers about what is being done to increase security and weapons detection at all schools. In response to this latest case, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education only said the DOE will ensure swift and appropriate follow-up action.
The boy’s name is not being released by police, who said he was charged as a juvenile with criminal possession of a weapon and will appear before a Family Court judge.