Security heightened after student brings gun to Mississippi high school

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TATE COUNTY, Miss. — A student is accused of bringing a gun to a high school campus in Tate County, and the teen is now facing charges.

If it weren’t for a tip from another student, investigators said they weren’t sure how things might have played out at Independence High School on Monday, which is leading to some increased security measures.

Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance said keeping students safe is an around-the-clock job.

“We’ve stationed a deputy at Independence for the remainder of the school year,” Lance said.

After Monday morning’s gun scare, the sheriff isn’t taking any chances.

“A lot of rumors started to fly, and I just felt better having a person on campus,” he said.

He said a student warned a teacher about another student hiding a pistol in his backpack.

“We were glad in this incident, it turned out like it did,” Lance said. “It could have turned out far worse than seizing a weapon and charging a child with a crime.”

In no time, the loaded gun was found, and the student was charged for bringing the weapon on campus.

“Why this student felt necessary to bring a gun to school, we don’t know at this point,” Lance said.

Lance said with both of the county’s high schools being positioned in the far corners of the county, he does worry about getting on scene fast enough.

“Our ability to respond to it in a timely manner can be hampered due to the distance they are away,” Lance said.

He looked at school shootings around the country where, in a matter of minutes, shooters took out dozens before being stopped. Lance said he wants to make sure that never happens on his watch.

Investigators said it does not appear that the pistol made it into the student’s backpack by mistake.

The student is currently at a juvenile detention center, and he will see a judge one day next week.

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