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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | East County / Thousand Oaks

Officials Find Handgun in Student's Backpack

November 01, 2000|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

A 16-year-old Thousand Oaks High School student was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of bringing an unloaded 9-millimeter pistol to campus, authorities said.

School officials were told about the automatic weapon by another student, who said the boy showed it to him, said Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Steve Bourke.

"It's a very serious crime; it's not like bringing a firecracker to school. This is a real gun," Bourke said.

The teen, who was not identified because he is a juvenile, was taken to the school office about 9 a.m., where administrators searched his backpack and found a Baretta handgun, Bourke said.

In an interview with detectives at the East County Sheriff's Station in Thousand Oaks, the boy said he found the gun in the city a few days earlier and had been toting it around ever since.

The sergeant declined to say where the boy said he found the gun, but he said a check of state records indicated the weapon had not been registered or reported stolen. Bourke said the gun does not appear to belong to the boy's parents.

The boy was taken to Ventura County Juvenile Hall, where officials were to decide whether he would be detained or turned over to his parents until he is required to appear in court, Bourke said.

The boy also faces expulsion under the Conejo Valley Unified School District's "zero tolerance" rules concerning weapons on campus, Bourke said.

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