PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Peoria police have arrested a 16-year-old boy for allegedly bringing a loaded gun to campus at Centennial High School near 75th Avenue and Thunderbird Road.

On Monday at around 10 a.m., police say that school administrators caught a student smoking marijuana wax in one of the school restrooms.

[WATCH: Student brings loaded gun to high school in Peoria, police say]

The student was escorted to the school office, at which time the teen told the administrator that he had a gun in his backpack.

The on-site school resource officer was immediately notified and took possession of the backpack. Inside the backpack, the officer located a 9 mm handgun with 11 rounds in the magazine.

The student was taken into custody without incident and later transported to the Durango Juvenile Detention Center.

The student stated that he was holding the gun for another person, but police say he couldn't provide any information about that person.

Police say the student did not make any threats toward the school or to others.

The Peoria Unified School District was notified of the incident and arrest and was assured that there was no danger to the Centennial campus. 

"My wife and I are both retired teachers and we have a lot of friends who are still teachers," said Jack Becker, whose kids graduated from Centennial High. "Needless to say, I'm very concerned about this and something has to be done."

The suspect was booked into the Durango Juvenile Detention Center on a preliminary charge of carrying a weapon on school grounds and drug charges.

Becker said parents should also be held accountable.

"Why are they not locked up? Why are they accessible? Where are the parents?" he asked.  

Below is the letter the school principal sent to parents:

Dear Centennial Parents and Guardians,

This letter is to notify you that a student was arrested on our campus today for bringing a loaded gun to school. Our administrative team acted quickly once this was brought to our attention and immediately involved our School Resource Officer. While no threats were made against students, staff or our school, weapons or any item that disrupts the educational process are never allowed on our campus.

As today is a Modified Monday, a meeting was held to update all Centennial teachers and staff members regarding the incident. In addition, we want to provide support for students who may feel anxious hearing this news. Our counseling team will be available for students who need to talk through any fear or concerns they may be experiencing.

A reminder to our families that I still believe there is no other place like our public schools where there are more staff 100 percent committed to the safety and well-being of students. At Centennial, the safety of our students and staff is our first priority.

Any information regarding this incident can be reported to the Safe School line at 623-486-6199 or the Peoria Police Department at 623-773-8311.


Bill Sorensen, Ed.D.

Principal, Centennial High School


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