MIAMI (WSVN) - An 18-year-old has been arrested and accused of possessing a loaded gun on the campus of a Miami high school.
An anonymous tip was passed along to the assistant principal at Miami Jackson Senior High, John Sterling, that stated a former student was trespassing and may have a gun, Wednesday.
Investigators said a Miami-Dade County School officer located the person in question, Zion Horne, in the second-floor bathroom where he was detained. Court documents showed that Horne is a former student at Miami Jackson Senior High School, which is how officials said the officer recognized the 18-year-old.
A further search of Horne’s backpack revealed a .40 caliber handgun. One bullet was in the chamber, 14 bullets in the magazine and seven in a pill bottle. A marijuana grinder was also found.
Prosecutors said Horne admitted to being in a gang and firing the gun he had once before.
“I had no clue that he was shooting guns,” said Horne’s mother, Kenyetta Horne. “I had no clue that he was affiliated to the folks that I know is dangerous. He could’ve put me and my child in danger and I didn’t know. Oh, God.”
Horne made his first appearance in front of a judge on Wednesday.
“I’m here for my son. He got into some trouble with the gun and I found out some things I had no clue about,” Kenyetta said.
Kenyetta thinks some tough love will do her son some good. “Teach him a lesson. Don’t let him out here,” she said. “He needs to be in there and think about what he’s done.”
She said she had no plans to bail out her son.
“This is not a place for a child to be, but I prefer to see him and he’s still alive,” Kenyetta said.
It is still unclear what Horne was doing at Miami Jackson Senior High School. Court documents show he is currently a student at Miami Northwestern Senior High School.
The news comes on the same day Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho spoke at a town hall about many topics, including school safety.
“My reaction is obviously one of disappointment, on one hand. The fact that this young man would do that,” Carvalho said.
Students said they are shaken up about the news.
“I feel like our community is in danger,” said student Casey Mejia. “We’re in school, we’re supposed to be safe, but there’s students out here with guns and stuff like that. It makes me feel uncomfortable.”
Students were taken aback when they heard that Horne was the person who brought the weapon on campus.
“I thought it was pretty crazy,” said another student. “He was a football player, but I never came across as someone to do that.”
That student also said that Miami Jackson Senior High is normally a safe school. “It doesn’t represent anything of the school,” he said.
As for new school safety measures, Carvalho said a change is coming. “More police officers with the appropriate certification training. Second, hardening the buildings, reducing the points of entry, installing new technology that trolls and identifies menaces and threats on social media,” he said. “And then third, investing in mental health professionals to identify the threat and the students who have ideation or negative behavior.”
Horne has been charged with trespassing on school property with a firearm, possession of a firearm and possession of drugs.
His bail has been set at $106,000. The judge said she set the bail that high to prevent gang members from bailing him out.
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