Parents get answers day after loaded gun turns up on campus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Parents had a chance to get answers from school officials the day after police found a loaded gun on the campus of Webb Middle School.

“I found out from my fourth-grader who is in elementary a few blocks away from here,” said Jessica Herrera, the mother of a seventh-grader at Webb Middle School. “She knew before I did, so that’s why I was upset.”

Austin ISD Police Chief Eric Mendez explained to parents what happened.

School administrators contacted AISD Police shortly before 10 a.m. after they received tips from students that a classmate had brought a gun to campus.

Mendez said they arrived on campus and talked to multiple students who had information. Police say those students told officers where the gun was located, and also told them the gun had been on campus on Friday.

“We remained diligent because even if the gun was brought here Friday, we want to know where the gun is now,” Mendez said.

Police also went to the home of the student who allegedly brought the gun on campus before recovering the weapon Monday around 2 p.m. The gun was discovered under a portable and Mendez says that there were five rounds loaded into gun, but no bullet in the chamber.

While some parents praised the school for keeping their children safe and continuing to learn, others wanted to know why they weren’t notified sooner and why the school wasn’t placed on a lockdown.

“I feel that the school should’ve been shut down,” said Herrera. “My fear was what if another student got a hold of the weapon.”

But Mendez assured parents the situation was under control.

“If we at the time felt this campus was unsafe and we needed to lock it down, we would’ve locked it down,” he said.

Mendez also invited parents to continue the safety discussions at monthly school meetings.

Police say so far no student has been arrested or charged. Travis County juvenile prosecutors are looking into whether there is enough evidence to charge that student with carrying a gun in a prohibited place. Prosecutors must find evidence showing the student carrying the gun on campus.

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