CINCINNATI – Two warnings may have prevented a 17-year-old student from bringing a gun into Western Hills University High School Monday morning and confronting another student who reportedly had been bullying him.
The student suspect displayed a gun to several students on a Metro bus on the way to school, but he ran away after he was stopped at the school entrance by school security, according to a police report.
The student suspect disposed of the gun after fleeing, a source inside the school told 9 On Your Side. But that was not confirmed by police or school officials.
Police and school security searched for a gun but did not find one, officials said.
After running away, the student suspect returned to school about 15 minutes later and was arrested, police said.
Principal Ken Jump disclosed details in an email to staff.
Jump said a teacher informed him Monday morning that the student suspect had been involved in a confrontation with another student Friday and said he “was going to bring his 40 on Monday.”
The teacher didn’t realize until later that the student suspect was using slang for a .40 caliber gun, Jump said.
In addition, a parent reported getting a text from a student Monday morning that the student suspect had a gun, Jump said. The police report said an anonymous call to the school referred to a student with a gun on the bus. That may have been the same warning from the parent.
The school was placed on high alert, police said.
Jump said he directed a security team to meet the student suspect at the entrance. The student suspect got nervous and ran out of the building toward the Kroger store, north on Ferguson Road, Jump said.
When the student suspect returned, he passed through a metal detector, Jump said. Security brought the student suspect to the principal’s office and searched him and his locker.
No gun was found, Jump said.
The student suspect was arrested and charged with inducing panic and was taken to the juvenile detention center, police said.
The school source said the student suspect is “a not a bad kid.”
“I think he got tired of being bullied. You get tired of people calling you names, know what I mean?”
The source expressed concern that students could enter school through doors that did not have metal detectors.
The main student entrance at Western Hills has a working metal detector, Janet Walsh, CPS public affairs director, told 9 On Your Side.
“Most schools have an option for standing metal detectors and they are not always used at all entrances,” Walsh said.
Jump did not take a call from 9 On Your Side, referring us to the CPS public affairs department.