Winter Haven Kid Takes Gun to Feel Cool at School

Fewer than two months after the mass shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, a 14-year old in Winter Haven snuck a gun and two knives into Winter Haven Christian School. The student kept the weapons in his backpack, which police found in his locker. He had a semi-automatic pistol, 11 rounds of ammunition, a butterfly knife and a pocket knife. He had told investigators that he had been listening to rap music and had brought the gun to feel “powerful” and “cool.” He said the gun was his father’s, which he had taken from the house the previous night. At no point did the student threaten to harm others or himself.

The student was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Polk County Juvenile Detention Center on one count of possessing a firearm on school grounds and two counts of possession of a weapon on school grounds. Winter Haven Police Chief Charlie Bird hopes this incident serves as a lesson to other students considering bringing weapons to school. “There is absolutely no room for ‘cool’ when it involves any sort of weapon in a school with the recent events our country has endured.”

Juveniles Facing Stricter Consequences for Weapons Offenses

Not long ago, several teens in Volusia County were arrested in connection to merely threatening to bring weapons to school. Since March 2nd, fifteen students have been criminally charged for making threats, jokes, and comments about guns on school property. Additionally, parents were fined exorbitant fees to cover the costs of the investigations the threats required.

Police throughout Central Florida are no longer taking chances. Each and every incident of violence or threatened violence will be taken seriously by police. What used to be punished with a warning or lesson about violence is now being punished with the full force of the law. Students who have their whole lives ahead of them are facing real criminal consequences for making stupid mistakes.

If your child is facing charges for possessing weapons on school grounds or even making a school shooting threat, the charges have opened up a criminal record that could thwart his future. It is important to find a compassionate criminal defense lawyer who understands the mistakes that youth make at a fragile time in their development.

At The Umansky Law Firm, we have lawyers with many years of experience defending juveniles against criminal charges. We firmly believe everyone deserves a second chance, especially our children. Call 407-228-3838 or contact us for a free case evaluation.