PORT ORCHARD — A 14-year-old student at Cedar Heights Middle School has been booked into juvenile detention after being caught carrying a semi-automatic weapon and “a significant amount of ammunition” at the school on Wednesday.
Port Orchard Police Department Cmdr. Dale Schuster said the male student was charged with first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He said the department’s detectives are conducting an open investigation and attempting to determine if other students might have been aware that the young man had been carrying a weapon and ammunition at the school.
The student, he said, was arrested at about 11 a.m. Wednesday and taken to Kitsap County Juvenile Detention Center, where he was charged with felony possession of a firearm.
Schuster said the incident was “kind of disturbing” and said the police department would be working with the South Kitsap School District and would “get to the bottom of it.”
The middle school’s principal, Andrew Cain, earlier sent home a letter to parents Wednesday informing them of the incident and follow-up actions. His communication implored parents to urge their students to report any sign that someone is carrying a weapon on school grounds.
Amy Miller, South Kitsap School District spokeswoman, shared the letter that Cain sent to parents. She said because the police investigation is ongoing, the district would not provide additional comment.
Here is the letter:
Dear Cedar Heights families,
Earlier today, school administrators received a report of a student in possession of a firearm on campus. Law enforcement was immediately contacted and took the student into custody. The investigation is ongoing but early reports show that this was an isolated incident. We are concerned to find that other students knew about the firearm and failed to report it to school administrators. Per District policy, those students will also face consequences.
Please encourage your student to always say something to an adult and a school official if they see or hear something. Ask them to come forward if they have information about this or any other school safety issue. We all have the responsibility to keep our schools safe.
Please contact me with any questions or concerns.
Andrew Cain, Ed.D., Principal
Cedar Heights Middle School