Internal investigation launched after student brings gun to Harns Marsh

A student arrested for bringing a gun to campus at Harns Marsh Middle School in Buckingham had additional charges added to his case.

Amid learning the student revealed a gun to students multiple times prior to his arrest has spurred an internal investigation by the School District of Lee County.

Parents say they have not heard from the District and want to know what is being done to keep their children safe.

According to Lee County Sheriff’s Office, a 12-year-old student, who was originally arrested Dec. 20 for bringing a handgun to Harns Marsh, now has additional charges of one count of improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearm on school grounds and one count of dangerous exhibition of a firearm.

These charges were brought against the student after it was revealed he displayed a gun to multiple fellow students.

“Other students have come forward, said that there was more, you know, that the gun was out in different places,” said Mary Fischer, a member of School Board of Lee County. “That wasn’t information that was given to us earlier, but having that information now, or the allegation of that information, we immediately proceed with an investigation.”

Gun recovered by Lee County deputies from 12-year-old student at Harns Marsh Middle School in Buckingham. (Credit: Lee County Sheriff's Office)
Gun recovered by Lee County deputies from 12-year-old student at Harns Marsh Middle School in Buckingham. (Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

LCSO said, during the investigation, detectives interviewed several students who told them that, Dec. 20, the student showed the firearm on the school bus while heading to school, as well as in the cafeteria and while in class. He also threatened his classmates to not report his actions to school staff.

The internal investigation will center around how the 12-year-old was able to reveal the gun to students in the settings mentioned before he was arrested.

“Unbelievable that he pulled out three times and nobody said anything or saw anything,” parent John Legates said.

When the original incident took place, the boy was arrested after school officials received a tip from students about the firearm. The student was found and immediately removed from the classroom, where the firearm was recovered from the student’s backpack.

When asked if the District plans to meet with parents, we were told that is up to Principal Alex Dworzanski at Harns Marsh. We were also told he and anyone with the District would be unavailable for comment Friday.

“They have to let us know about all the facts, especially with my son here,” Legates said. “When he’s not around me, his life is in their hands.”

Initially, the District and LCSO said they quickly arrested the sixth-grader after students reported he had a gun in his backpack.

“My son didn’t even really know what was going on,” Legates said. “That was the scary part.”

Reporter:Sydney Persing
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