INDIANAPOLIS — Two teenagers have been arrested after guns were found at KIPP Legacy High School in Indianapolis, part of a disturbing trend in and around Marion County.
Since the start of the school year, there have been multiple incidents involving students caught with weapons on campuses in central Indiana.
IMPD officers responded to KIPP Indy Legacy High School Tuesday afternoon after administrators reported they found guns inside a locker. When they arrived, Lt. Shane Foley said officers recovered two handguns – including one with a dangerous accessory.
“Machine gun conversion devices allow the firearms to fire multiple rounds in a short period of time,” Foley said. “They’re extremely dangerous for anyone involved.”
Police then arrested a 17-year-old boy for various firearms offenses. A second teenager was taken into custody after police said that while investigating, they “smelled the odor of raw marijuana in that juvenile’s backpack,” and marijuana was found.
IMPD detectives have been working with the ATF to find out how firearms are falling into kids’ hands in the first place. Foley said in this case, there’s no indication the guns were stolen, but it hasn’t been ruled out.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to know because if people have guns stolen and they don’t track the serial numbers, then we don’t know if a gun is stolen,” Foley said. “I know I’ve heard of several incidents in the last four weeks of guns located on school campuses across Indianapolis and across central Indiana. That’s extremely concerning.”
Foley said he is asking adults to step up, be responsible with their own guns and alert police if they know of a juvenile carrying one.
Juveniles can face serious long-term repercussions – like felony prosecutions in adult court. The Indiana Public Defender Council’s senior staff attorney shared the following statement:
“When a child brings a gun to school they have committed multiple delinquent acts, which will almost always result in the immediate arrest and detention of the child. Guns at school are treated as serious offenses, and carry serious consequences for students. The ultimate consequences could be as severe as direct file, or waiver to adult court for prosecution for felony criminal charges, or for the kids who stay in juvenile court, bringing a gun to school can be the basis of a prison commitment that can last until the child reaches the age of twenty-one (21). Some kids will be able to prove that lesser juvenile court interventions are adequate, but be assured that the prosecutors, probation officers, and judges will take these types of cases very seriously.”Joel C. Wieneke, Indiana Public Defender Council Senior Staff Attorney
A spokesperson for KIPP Indy Public Schools shared the following statement late Wednesday afternoon:
“The safety of our school community is our top priority. On Tuesday, August 22 we investigated and addressed a safety incident at our high school campus. Our team immediately and rigorously implemented safety protocols aligned to state school safety guidelines. Our School Resource Officer and leadership team collaborated closely with IMPD, who were immediately on site and swiftly addressed and resolved the situation. All students remained safe throughout the day. We maintain the highest expectations for student safety and immediately address any safety issues on our campus. Our school community’s safety will continue to be our top priority and we appreciate the collaboration with IMPD that led to the swift and immediate resolution of this incident.”Martha V. Cortes, KIPP Indy Public Schools Chief Partnerships Officer
Cortes did not respond when asked to confirm whether the teenagers are students at KIPP Indy Legacy High School.