RUSKIN, Fla. - A 17-year-old boy is facing charges for allegedly bringing a gun to a Hillsborough County high school Thursday after one of his friends accidentally shot himself with it., according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
According to HCSO, a 17-year-old student at Lennard High School brought a gun to school in his truck. While he was hanging out with an 18-year-old man who used to attend the school, his friend saw the gun and started messing with it. Investigators said that friend ended up shooting himself in the leg and went to the hospital around 10:40 a.m.
Soon after the 18-year-old showed up to South Bay hospital and spoke to deputies, the school administrators were informed and locked down the school for more than two hours until deputies found the gun inside the student’s truck.
"We understood if this indeed is a valid story, he’s had the firearm and has been bringing it to school all week long. Today is when he showed it to his friend and unfortunately, his friend not being familiar with how to handle a firearm, ended up shooting himself in the leg," said Sheriff Chad Chronister of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff said they had to sort through a lot of misinformation circulating about the situation from parents and students.
"It becomes an obstacle because we’re doing interviews, we’re monitoring social media, text messages, trying to figure out one thing and that’s where’s this firearm. It’s supposed to be on campus. We know that, but we don’t know exactly where it is," said Chronister.
The sheriff confirmed the 17-year-old was arrested inside a classroom, and he’s charged with bringing a firearm on school grounds.
"We were trying to figure out where a 17-year-old would get a firearm. He said it was a quinceañera, a birthday party over the weekend and had the firearm. He wasn’t going to turn it in. He wanted to keep it and has been bringing it to school," said Chronister.
The sheriff said the 18-year-old was airlifted to Sarasota hospital for his injuries, and he’s in stable condition.