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Polk County 14-year-old arrested after handgun found at Southwest Middle School

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Posted at 7:25 PM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 19:25:38-04

A 14-year-old Lakeland middle school student was arrested after his principal found a handgun and gun magazine in his backpack, police said. 

Tye P. Bruno, the principal at Southwest Middle School in Lakeland, contacted the school resource officer shortly before noon Thursday in reference to weapon being on campus. 

According to Lakeland police, a student wearing a backpack was spotted on a surveillance camera walking into a classroom, which was empty at the time. He then is seen leaving the room without the backpack.

Bruno found the backpack behind a desk in the classroom, the Lakeland police reported. A black handgun was discovered inside the backpack. The gun magazine was not in the handgun but was inside the backpack. The magazine  contained 12 rounds. 

The handgun, a 9mm, semiautomatic, was stolen March 24 in Lakeland, a police release said. 

The student, whose name is being withheld because of his age, was interviewed by a detective. Police said he admitted possessing the backpack with the handgun inside and hiding it behind a desk, because he did not want anyone to see it. 

The student was taken into custody and charged with possession of a firearm o school grounds and unlawful carry of a firearm. He was taken to the Polk County Juvenile Assessment Center. 

He is currently on felony probation.