South Fort Myers HS student arrested for having loaded stolen gun in car

Published: August 11, 2022 2:21 PM EDT
Updated: August 12, 2022 11:29 AM EDT

A South Fort Myers High School student was arrested Thursday after authorities say the student had a gun in his vehicle.

In a message to the campus community, Principal Ed Mathews said at no time were any students threatened.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office planned a press conference to announce the arrest on Thursday but ended up canceling it.

On Friday, the sheriff’s office announced the arrest of a 17-year-old student.

The principal of South Fort Myers High School thanked the person who came forward and told school officials about the student who had a gun in their car parked in the school’s lot.

A student told a staff member they saw an Instagram video depicting a fellow student flashing a firearm.

According to LCSO, a loaded 9mm handgun was located under the driver’s seat during the search.

It was also determined the located firearm was stolen during a burglary last month in Lehigh Acres. That case is still under investigation.

Safety and security specialist, Rich Kolko told WINK News the next step is to speak with the student. He said investigators will need to figure out who the gun belongs to and how it got inside the vehicle. Also, whether or not there was any motivation behind bringing a firearm to school.

“Somebody else knew about it, whether they saw it, whether the student boasted about it, whether they made comments talking about how they wanted to use that weapon, that information made it to the SRO, led to the search, led to the arrest, and keeping all the kids safe,” said Kolko.

The principal said at no time were any students threatened. He also told the parents that the student was arrested after the firearm was discovered in their car.

“It’s kind of concerning,” said one student at South Fort Myers High School. “I’m a little scared for my safety. But you have to do what you have to do and go to school.” That’s because the student WINK News spoke with believes she knows the person arrested; we chose not to share her identity.

“I didn’t see the student carried off in handcuffs,” the student said. “But I did see the police in the school.”

“We do not tolerate this kind of behavior at South Fort Myers High School, so on top of the legal consequences, the student involved with be discipline (sic) per the Student Code of Conduct,” Mathews said.

The principal said the student arrested will face disciplinary action from the school district in addition to charges of possession of a weapon on school grounds.