PAHS student arrested with airsoft gun

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles High School Student was arrested Friday for investigation of bringing a dangerous weapon onto school property after it was determined that he had an airsoft gun.

The student, who is not identified because he is a minor, allegedly had brought a replica 1911 airsoft gun to school, according to Cpl. Bruce Fernie with Port Angeles Police Department.

Another student saw the gun, believed it to be real, and reported it to other students and the assistant principal, Fernie said.

The assistant principal alerted Principal Tanner Zahrt who pulled the student into his office where they assessed that the gun was indeed not real.

“In collaboration with PAPD, students and staff handled the situation appropriately and swiftly,” Zahrt said in a notification email to PAHS families.

“This is now an open investigation with PAPD.”

The quick actions prevented the school from going into a full lockdown, according to Fernie.

Fernie said that the student told police he had not intended to attend school on Friday and had forgotten that the replica was in his backpack.

The student was transported to juvenile detention upon his arrest.

Counselors and support staff were called to the high school for students who wanted to discuss the incident.

“Providing a safe and secure learning environment is the top priority for our school system, and we take these incidents very seriously,” Zahrt said.

Zahrt encouraged parents to take this situation as an opportunity to talk to their children about school safety and speaking up when they see something concerning.

“We want you to have the facts to discuss with your child and emphasize the seriousness of this issue,” Zahrt said.

“Please take this opportunity to speak to your child about the importance of school safety.

“While peer pressure is tremendous at this age, we want to encourage students to feel comfortable reporting any information they may have that compromises their safety and the safety of others.”

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Reporter Ken Park can be reached at [email protected].

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