Crime

15-year-old student charged with bringing loaded gun to Belleville West

Belleville West cancels class after report of student with weapon

Cars line up as classes were canceled for the day Monday after authorities received a report that a Belleville West High School student may have had a weapon on campus.
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Cars line up as classes were canceled for the day Monday after authorities received a report that a Belleville West High School student may have had a weapon on campus.

A 15-year-old student has been charged with multiple felonies in connection with a loaded gun brought to Belleville West’s campus on Monday.

The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday it was charging the minor with unlawful use of a weapon on school grounds, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon without a FOID card, unlawful possession of a firearm and unauthorized possession or storage of weapons.

According to the news release, the student also had a knife on school grounds. The release did not address what type of firearm the student possessed or where it was found.

The student’s name is not being released because of his age.

Around 11:15 a.m. on Monday, Belleville police were informed that a student told school authorities he had brought a loaded gun to school and left it in his backpack, but that someone had gone through the bag and that the gun was missing.

The school was placed on lockdown before students were dismissed room by room as a precaution.

Classes resumed Tuesday, but with an increased police presence that continued into Wednesday as well.

On Tuesday night, District 201 Superintendent Jeff Dosier told Belleville West parents that an “extensive” police search of the building yielded no weapons.

“If a weapon was brought onto campus, that would be subject to disciplinary consequences or if someone gave us misleading information, that would also be subject to disciplinary consequences,” he said in the voicemail. “Obviously we can’t have students thinking it’s OK to bring a weapon onto campus or even say that they’ve done it. That’s not going to be accepted.”

The school district said security video had been reviewed during the investigation.

The student who was charged will be held in police custody for 30 days pending adjudication before the Juvenile Court Division.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.
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