Police: 'Brainerd High School student pointed gun at students'
Channel 3 is learning more about how officers discovered two guns at Brainerd High School, and the student police say was carrying those weapons.
A spokesperson for the Chattanooga Police Department says the school’s resource officers (SRO's) watched that student pull a gun on other students. They say the SRO's shouted verbal commands for the student to drop the weapon, while drawing their firearms.
The student complied. That is when the officers found a second gun on the student.
It is not clear why the student targeted the group of students or how a gun got inside the school undetected.
This is the second time a loaded gun was reportedly found inside a Hamilton County school this year. Last month, a loaded gun was found inside a student’s locker at the Howard School.
Sheriff Jim Hammond says he is concerned, but he needs help from school officials to do something about it.
“The sheriff’s department can advise, we can help instruct, we can help protect, but we can't do it alone,” Sheriff Hammond says.
Hammond believes Hamilton county schools are safe, but more technology and officers would help.
As of now, Hammond employs 31 of the county’s SRO’s.
“I would like to have them in every school. We have about 78 to 79 schools in the system here I'm only in probably less than half of those,” says Hammond. “We go out of our way to make sure that we keep the majority of the doors locked. We know who is coming and going, we follow ID systems, we have SROs on board and in some cases the schools may even have magnetometers.”
Hammond says securing school with metal detectors or other resources would be up to the school district. He says the only thing he has control over is the SRO’s.
“It is their campus, their rules,” says Sheriff Hammond.
But Hammond says there is a fine line between keeping students safe and invading the privacy of students and staff.
“There is no way to 100% guard that you're not going to have a child try to get a weapon into the school. We can do the best we can, but unless you want to lock it down like Fort Knox it's very difficult to do,” Hammond says. “That's one of the reasons I push so much to have SRO's because they can be a major deterrent.”
Sheriff Hammond says seven more SRO's will be added to schools in January after Christmas break. Their designated schools have not be determined.
Channel 3 reached out to Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson about the incident at Brainerd and solutions moving forward.
We have not heard back.
School board member Dr. Steve Highlander provided a statement on behalf of the board, saying they are obviously concerned and “have a lot of questions for Dr. Johnson regarding school safety. Dr. Johnson did not immediately inform us about the situation. We are still trying to learn more details about what happened and the student involved. We are working diligently to make the schools more safe.”
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