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2 guns found on Alhambra campus; teen arrested

January 6, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
An Alhambra high school was put on lockdown and a student was arrested after police found two handguns on campus Wednesday afternoon. One of the guns was loaded. A second teen was detained hours later in connection with the incident, questioned, then released.A private security firm was doing a routine K-9 search at Mark Keppel High School at 501 E. Hellman Avenue, when a dog perked up at a student's backpack about 1:25 p.m. During a search of the backpack, authorities found an unloaded handgun inside.

"One of the assistant principals noticed that there was a student that was acting a little bizarrely. He was lifting up his backpack, putting it down, going back to it, picking it up, putting it back down," said Alhambra Police Sgt. Brandon Black. "When the student left the room, the assistant principal went over and found the backpack, searched it, found a handgun."

School officials detained the 17-year-old junior and called the police department.

Officers searched the suspect and found a second handgun, which was loaded, in the waistband of his pants. The student was arrested. Hours later, a second student was detained in connection with the incident, questioned and later released.

The campus was placed on lockdown for hours as police searched lockers and all the student's classrooms. Many students on campus were searched before they were allowed to go home.

No one was injured in the incident.

"That's pretty scary because you don't know if it's the kid next to you, you never know if he can just snap and go off on you and the rest of the class and you're all in danger," said student Jessica Rodriguez.

The student's name was withheld because he is a juvenile. It was unclear why he brought two handguns to school.

Police also searched the student's Monterey Park home and questioned his friends and parents about why he had the guns.