DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) -- Dubuque police arrested a 17-year-old student on Monday, September 24, for bringing a handgun to Dubuque Senior High School. The school also had two kids trespass on school grounds and received a threat of violence.
Dubuque Senior High School saw a heavy police presence on Monday, Sept. 24 after an unloaded handgun was found inside a student's locker. (Allison Wong, KCRG-TV9)
According to police, around 10:45 on Monday morning a student reported to a Senior staff member that Jason Jashawn Gardner had a gun in a backpack.
A school resource officer and school administration found Gardner and got the backpack from a locker. They found an unloaded handgun inside. The student was sent home for the day.
Gardner is charged as an adult with Carrying Weapons on School Grounds, a Class D Felony. He's being held in the Dubuque County Jail awaiting his initial court appearance
Senior Principal Dan Johnson said he's happy students feel comfortable reporting incidents like this one to staff.
"Thankful that we have great relationships with our students that they want to keep the building safe, we want to keep the building safe, you know and those relationships matter," he said.
The police were kept busy with another incident at Senior that same day.
According to police, shortly after Gardner's arrest, a Senior staff member reported two kids trespassing on school grounds, but they left before officers could get to them.
Police maintained a heavy police presence for the rest of the day and continued to search for the two trespassers.
Towards the end of the day, police say a suspicious vehicle was seen in the parking lot. It left when approached by officers. The police officers believed the two kids who trespassed earlier in the day were in the car.
Officers then asked for an external lockdown of the school until the suspicious car could be found.
At almost 2 p.m., police found the car in the 700 block of White St. The driver told officers she dropped off people in the area of University and Asbury. Officers checked that area and found the two kids who trespassed at Senior earlier. Both are charged with Trespassing and were placed in detention by Juvenile Court Services.
Police say the investigation is ongoing and there is currently no evidence that links the two incidents. However, "investigators are exploring all options," according to a press release.
Dispatch also received a call from a person who made a threat of violence to Senior.
Police have since identified the person who made the call. In an email to Senior families, Johnson said the call was made by a student, who he did not name. The email stated, "appropriate disciplinary action will follow the complete investigation, in addition to any action taken by the Dubuque Police Department."
Police plan to maintain a heavy police presence at Senior Tuesday.
Any person with information related to these incidents are encouraged to call police at 563-589-4415.