Student arrested for having firearm in Edmonds-Woodway High actually had an 'air gun,' police say

EDMONDS, Wash. -- An 18-year-old student at Edmonds Woodway High School who has been jailed after allegedly bringing a gun to school actually had an "air gun" that resembled a firearm, police said Wednesday.

Police searched the school area for about three hours Tuesday before the student was found in north Everett near Broadway after he left campus earlier in the day. He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of second-degree assault.

However, police later discovered that the handgun was actually an air pellet gun.

"The gun believed to have been used in the incident (photo included) was recovered later at a location in Everett. It was determined not to be a firearm but an air gun with an authentic appearance," police said in a news release.

"A final charging decision will come from the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s office," police said Wednesday.

No one was hurt, but parents are concerned for their kids’ safety.

Gun free zone signs are posted across the Edmonds Woodway High School campus, but that didn’t stop a student from allegedly bringing a gun to school on Tuesday.

Police say at lunch, the student "aggressively" showed the gun to other students in a restroom. Witnesses said he pointed the gun at another student's head and pulled the trigger, but the gun apparently wasn't loaded.

As a result of the "aggressive" nature, police said, the teen was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of second-degree assault.

“There is a video that our officers then saw that supported the claims made by students who came forward that escalated our actions to find this specific individual,” said Edmonds Police Sgt. Josh McClure.

Police say about 45 minutes after seeing the gun, several students came forward to alert school staff, who then called police.

In the meantime, the student with the gun walked off campus in the middle of the school day, which prompted police to search around Edmonds and nearby cities for him.

“We determined by what witnesses said the actions were with the gun that there was a concern for students and staff at the school and the public as well,” said McClure.

The Edmonds School District says Edmonds Woodway High School, along with all the schools in the district, have closed campuses, meaning students are not allowed to leave during the day, yet parents say they are concerned this student was able to simply walk off campus with a gun.

“We take it very seriously,” said Kelly Franson with the Edmonds School District, who added that anytime a student brings a weapon to school, policy is that they are expelled. Franson wouldn’t say if the school was ever on lockdown at any time or whether any school safety changes would be made.

“Tomorrow, school will go on as planned and we will have more police presence just as reassure to the students,” said Franson.

The school district sent out a letter to parents at Edmonds Woodway High School notifying them of the incident and that the 18-year-old was in police custody. In the letter, Principal Terrance Mims encourages parents to have a conversation with their students about coming forward if they see anything at school that is a safety concern. The letter commended the actions of the students who did come forward on Tuesday, which led police to search for and take the 18-year-old into custody.

Franson says the school will have counselors available to students if they have questions or concerns and more police on campus as reassurance.