A Baltimore County, Md. middle school was put on lockdown today after a student pulled a gun out in a classroom. Reportedly, the teacher stepped between him and another student and was subsequently able to get the student to drop the gun.
According to a report broadcast by 99.1 WNEW radio in Washington, an eighth-grade student at Stemmers Run Middle School in Essex brought a gun to school today. Reportedly, the student left to go to the restroom, was gone for several minutes, and came back visibly upset.
The teacher asked the student if he was all right and it's being reported at this time he pulled out a gun and pointed it at another student. The classroom's teacher stepped in between the two students and purportedly the student then aimed the gun at himself.
"The teacher then grabbed his wrist and smashed the gun down onto a desk. The teacher was then able to confiscate the weapon," reported CBS News.
Police have taken possession of the firearm. The type of gun appears not to have been identified at this time.
CBS News affiliate WJZ-TV reporter Mike Hellgren was on the scene and spoke with a witness who was in the classroom (via WNEW News) who said the student was in the bathroom for about 20 minutes before he returned and then began waving around the gun [CBS Audio report from Mike Hellgren].
Baltimore County Police, county and school officials have a conference scheduled for 2 p.m. today to discuss the details of this incident, reports Towson Patch. The student is currently in police custody and the school release will be at the normal time. No students were injured.
ABC News reported, "Parents are currently arriving in swarms to pick up students," and indicated parents are upset no information is being shared with them until the 2 p.m. conference. The school did place a statement on its website about the incident.
Digital Journal will provide an update to this breaking story after the news conference.
Update 3:30 p.m.
At 2 p.m., as scheduled, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Police Chief James Johnson and Baltimore County School District superintendent Dallas Dance held a news release regarding this morning's incident at Stemmers Run Middle School.
"The teacher began to grapple with the individual," Police Chief James Johnson said. "...Knocking the handgun out of his hand and to the floor. We know that damage occurred to the gun when it was knocked to the floor."
The weapon was described as a small gun, a .25 caliber, and it was shared the student also had a hunting knife in his possession. Officials praised the teacher for taking swift action.
Officials also discussed the shooting that occurred at Perry Hall High School, also in the district, last month. Kamenetz told the public he has "immediately" authorized an increased presence at all Baltimore County Schools and police officers will get handheld metal detectors in all middle and high schools. The wand will only be used when a situation is deemed suspicious enough; random tests will not be held.
“I do this on the belief that police are trained to properly identify suspicious activity in individuals, and these trained police officers will use their skill and their judgment as well as the use of the additional technology with the scanner to potentially identify problem areas,” Kamenetz said at the press conference (via WJZ-TV Feed).