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Unloaded rifle found at BHS

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

A Bandera High School student purportedly caught toking a joint on school property got more than he bargained for after an unloaded firearm was discovered in the trunk of his vehicle.
On Tuesday, Jan. 15, an adult monitor apparently discovered two students - ages 17 and 16 - apparently smoking marijuana in the BHS parking lot. After an interview with Principal Gary Bitzkie, the vehicle of the unidentified 17 year old was searched. During the course of the search, additional marijuana was discovered as well as a .22 rifle in the trunk.
Deputies with the Bandera County Sheriff's Office arrested the youth for possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone and confiscated the weapon. The gun possession charge was referred to 216th District Attorney Bruce Curry.
According to Chief Deputy Matt King, the youth's grandfather explained that earlier he had placed the rifle in the vehicle ithout his grandson's knowledge. A press release from Bandera Independent School District confirmed this. "This weapon is the property of the student's family member, who is the owner of the vehicle," the release read.
"There was nothing school related in the trunk, like books or a backpack," King said, "which indicates the student probably was unaware that the firearm was there." King added, "If the rifle had been in the backseat, it would be a different story."
The press release continued, "At no time was any threat made or received. No staff member or student was in danger at any time. Appropriate action was taken by BHS administration and local law enforcement."
King indicated the gun possession charge would most likely be presented to the grand jury on Monday, Jan. 28.