UPDATE: The St. Clair County State’s Attorney James A. Gomric announced Thursday that a second 15-year-old minor has been charged in relation to the possession of a firearm on school grounds at Belleville West High School. As prohibited by the Juvenile Court Act, the name of the minor is not being released at this time.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) – A student accused of bringing a loaded gun to Belleville West High School Monday after a student’s handgun was reported stolen out of his locker Monday.
The student, 15, is facing charges of unlawful use of a weapon on school grounds, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon without a FOID car, unlawful possession of a firearm and unauthorized possession or storage of weapons.
Monday, the Belleville Police Department said a student brought a loaded gun to school, concealed in his backpack. The student placed his backpack in his gym locker and attended gym class. When he returned to his locker, the bag was searched "by an unknown subject" and the gun was missing, which prompted the lockdown, police said.
Police said the student who brought the gun to school told authorities it had gone missing.
At 11:15 a.m. the school said officers from the Belleville Police Department and other local agencies were assisting staff for a “systematic dismissal of students.” They also said students were being taken to a safe location for dismissal.
“We understand this is a stressful time if you have to wait for the dismissal of your students,” read part of letter sent to parents at the school.
After rumors circulated on social media that there was an active shooter at the school, school officials denied those reports stating “there is NO Active Shooter at Belleville West.”
Tuesday morning, 16 additional officers were at the school. There will be an additional police presence at the school for at least the next few days, according to officials.
The school district and police told News 4 they are currently reviewing surveillance video that could help with the investigation.
The student is being held in juvenile custody.
The school district is also discussing safety procedures because currently there are no metal detectors at the school’s entrance doors.