Day after shooting at South City high school, gun found on students at two other local schools

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 10:52 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2022 at 12:47 PM CDT
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BELLEVILLE, Ill. ( – A 15-year-old student brought a gun to Belleville East High School and a student brought a gun to Hazelwood West High School Tuesday.

School officials in Belleville were told about social media chatter that showed a 15-year-old student handling a gun before school Tuesday. The school resource officer and campus patrol located the 15-year-old and a 14-year-old student. They conducted a search and found a gun and ammunition, police say. Both teens were arrested. Police do not believe the gun was displayed at school.

“It does not appear to us at this time that the student had the weapon out--visible,” said Dr. Brian Mentzer, Belleville Township High School District superintendent.

A student also brought a gun to Hazelwood West High School Tuesday. Police tell News 4 the student was taken into custody and the gun was seized.

“The student was identified, removed from class, and the school conducted their initial investigation, and they notified us that they located a handgun in the student’s bag,” said Lt. Tim Burger with the Hazelwood Police Department. “When school opened we were there. We had extra officers and investigators on the scene.”

Hazelwood PD reported it got an anonymous tip from a parent Monday night about someone trying to sneak an unspecified item into Hazelwood West. According to police, that student successfully got the gun in passed security Tuesday.

Both incidents occurred one day after Alexzandria Bell, 15, and teacher Jean Kuckza, 61, were shot and killed at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School. At least six others were injured. The suspect was killed by police.

“In law enforcement, we know that there are copycat criminals whether it’s something like this or even more serious crimes,” Lt. Burger said. “It heightens awareness both for law enforcement, for parents, for students, for educators--for people generally in the community.”

Lt. Burger added it doesn’t appear the Hazelwood West student who was arrested appeared to target anyone in the school.