Police: Students bring gun to high school football game

- Under the Friday night lights, two students snuck a loaded gun into a packed Pinellas Park football stadium.

The Patriots hosted Boca Ciega in a preseason game. Pinellas Park head coach Ken Crawford was on the sidelines and didn't hear of the incident until after the game.

“We're at a school, so it was very surprising to hear that,” said Crawford.

Fortunately, nobody was harmed in this incident.

Police found a .45 caliber semi-automatic gun loaded with two rounds.

The two arrested for possession of it are juveniles, so we're not going to identify them. Pinellas Park police say the pair brought the gun inside a backpack.

Later, a spectator caught them showing it off inside the backpack and notified police. A school resource officer at the game approached the teenagers and a search of that backpack turned up the same gun the witness told police about.

They were arrested for possession of a gun on school property.

“Anytime you have an incident like this, you have to remind the kids to make good decisions and to not get caught up with peer groups that could get them in trouble and take away their future,” said Crawford.

Crawford said security is “pretty tight” at football games and no bags are allowed inside the stadium. How the teens were able to sneak the backpack into the game, is still unknown.

According to Pinellas County's Student Code of Conduct, the two arrested could be suspended for no more than three days and recommended for expulsion for not less than one full year.

Crawford will remind his players next week that there are consequences to every action taken.

“You know every decision has a positive or negative outcome, there's very little idle,” said Crawford. “Every decision you make can change your life.”

Both teens admitted to having the gun while in school at Boca Ciega High School. No word on where they got this gun, and police say it has not been reported stolen.

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