Brainerd High School student arrested after bringing gun to school

Brainerd High School student arrested after bringing gun to school

This is the 7th arrest at the school in the last 10 days

December 14th, 2018 by Meghan Mangrum in Breaking News

This story was updated Dec. 14, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. with more information.

A student with a gun in their possession was taken into custody by Chattanooga police at Brainerd High School on Friday.

The student was charged with possession of a firearm on school premises, disorderly conduct, two counts of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

The gun was discovered when the student, who is a minor, arrived on campus during dismissal. The student attends the night school program at Brainerd. A school resource officer identified the situation and confiscated the gun quickly, according to district officials. No one was injured.

A staff member at the school said the gun was confiscated inside the school's auditorium, but district officials including Chief of the Opportunity Zone Jill Levine and spokesman Tim Hensley said the student and the gun never entered the building.

Chief of Staff Nakia Towns Edwards said much of the information the district has received is second-hand or is coming from law enforcement, and said the Chattanooga Police Department would have the best information regarding the incident as it continues to investigate.

The Chattanooga Police Department declined to comment on where the gun was found and directed questions to the school district's spokesperson.

Assistant Principal Belinda Martin sent an email to Brainerd High faculty on behalf of Principal Chris James notifying them of the incident.

"At dismissal, an evening school student came onto campus and a group of students quickly gathered around him. Administration and our School Resource Officers intervened immediately and ensured that everyone was safe. However, in the process, the student pulled out a gun and dropped it," the email said.

"The student was arrested and all other students on the scene were searched. Please know that we will continue to work with the district office to increase the safety for all events that take place on our campus during school hours and beyond."

This is at least the third incident resulting in arrest at the school in the past 10 days.

On Dec. 6, a student was arrested for allegedly raping another student on campus after school hours. The incident reportedly took place in the school auditorium.

On Wednesday, Dec. 12, five people were arrested after a "large fight" erupted in the school's hallways. At least two adults came to the school and joined in the fight, according to the arrest affidavit. The responding officer, T. Tumlin, said "it was mayhem."

Ebony Charmaine Russell, 26 and Talaya Parrish, 18, were arrested along with three juveniles.

Tumlin responded after Brainerd's principal Chris James advised law enforcement that there were several unauthorized adult females in the school.

"The principal, faculty, staff and I were all attempting to break this large fight up. Punches were thrown. People were screaming and cussing. The school learning environment was disrupted. The fight was intense," Tumlin wrote in the affidavit.

Police used pepper spray, or "OC spray" on the people involved in the fight.

At least two of the females involved in the fight had previously been suspended and were not supposed to be on school grounds at the time.

Levine said that the district was aware of the safety concerns and that student safety is its No. 1 priority.

"We are continuously reassessing our safety protocols," she said. "And looking for ways to ensure we are keeping our students safe."

Contact staff writer Meghan Mangrum at mmangrum@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.