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Henrico student arrested for carrying gun 'materials' at school

Posted at 4:17 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 23:37:58-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — A Henrico High School student was arrested Friday for possessing "materials that could be assembled to create a gun," an email from the school's principal read. A detailed description of the materials was not disclosed.

"Although the weapon was not operational at the time, it was a cause for concern," the email read. "I want to thank the individual that reported the matter to us and the police who worked quickly to address the situation and recover the potential weapon."

The male student has been charged with the possession of a firearm on school property, possession of a firearm by an underaged person and concealed weapon. The juvenile is in custody at the Henrico County Juvenile Detention Center.

"Henrico Police appreciate the continued support of our parent community and students who come forward to report suspicious behavior to maintain a safe community for everyone," says Lieutenant Matt Pecka.

The arrest came amid an increased police presence at schools nationwide in response to viral TikTok posts alluding to unconfirmed threats of school violence.

With stress levels already soaring from the effects of the pandemic and a rash of hoax threats following a deadly school shooting in Michigan on Nov. 30, districts said they were taking precautions out of an abundance of caution.

"It bothers me that my kids have to live in that fear all the time," said Chesterfield mom, Shannon Ronaldson.

Ronaldson said she kept her kids home from Midlothian Middle School Friday due to the TikTok posts.

"I wasn’t able to take the chance of what-ifs and send them anyways," she said.

Along with losing her dad to gun violence, Ronaldson said her cousin, Kelly Fleming, was among the 13 Columbine victims.

"It scares the crap out of me," she said. "My cousin passed away in the Columbine shooting. And every time, I’m going to keep keeping my kids home because that’s my worst fear."

TikTok has said it is working with law enforcement to look into the warnings.

In Twitter posts on Friday, the company said it had not found content promoting violence at schools but found videos discussing the rumor and warning others to stay safe.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.