News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Two Juveniles Arrested After Bringing Weapons to School
Contact : Kara Apple, Sergeant, Police    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- In the last week, police have arrested two juveniles for bringing weapons onto the Palo Alto High School campus during school hours in two separate, unrelated incidents.  Prompt action on behalf of students, school staff, and police ensured that both situations were dealt with safely.  No one was injured during either incident.  School administrators have taken immediate disciplinary action against both students.

In both incidents, administrators from Palo Alto High School at 50 Embarcadero Road received timely reports about the weapons on campus from alert and concerned fellow students.  School staff promptly notified the Palo Alto Police Department.  In both incidents, school staff and police quickly detained the suspects without incident and recovered the weapons.  In both incidents, the parents of the suspects were fully supportive of the police and school officials and assisted with the investigations.  At no time during either incident did either suspect brandish the weapons on campus or threaten other students on campus with the weapons.  There was never a need to place the campus on lockdown.

The first incident occurred on Friday, February 8, 2013, at about 1:25 p.m. when police received a report of a student who had brought a stun gun on campus.  The investigation revealed that two students left campus together during school hours to buy and sell marijuana to each other.  During that off-campus transaction, one student produced a stun gun and made two attempts to apply the stun gun to the chest of the victim student.  The victim was able to move away and was never injured.  The victim returned to campus and notified school administrators immediately.  Administrators quickly located the suspect, escorted the suspect to the office, and notified police and the suspect's parents.  Police recovered a commercially-sold stun gun device from the suspect’s backpack.

The second incident occurred on Monday, February 11, 2013, at about 11:45 a.m. when police responded to the school on a report of a student who was alleged to have brought a weapon onto campus.  Alert students notified school administrators that the suspect had shown a makeshift weapon to them.  The weapon had been inside the suspect’s backpack.  Police and school staff located the suspect on campus within minutes of receiving the report.  Police escorted the suspect to the office and notified the juvenile’s parents.  Police recovered a homemade "gun" (that was charged by a carbon dioxide container and that could only fire rubber corks, not bullets) from the suspect’s backpack.  The suspect told police they had accidentally left the weapon in their backpack after playing with it over the weekend.

In both cases, police arrested the suspects for possession of an illegal weapon on school grounds (a misdemeanor).  Police released the suspects to the custody of their parents.  School administrators took immediate disciplinary action against both students.

There is no indication whatsoever that either student planned to attempt any sort of mass casualty incident at the school.  There is also no information that the two students were working together, or that these two incidents were at all related to one another.

“We have a solid relationship with all of our schools, and we have trained extensively with them about how to handle incidents involving weapons on campus,” said Lieutenant Zach Perron of the Palo Alto Police Department.  “Everything in these cases worked like it should: the initial tips of weapons on campus came directly from other students who did the right thing by notifying school staff right away, the school notified police immediately, and we worked collaboratively with school staff and parents to take appropriate action.”

The Palo Alto Police Department is not identifying the name, age, class year, or gender of either juvenile suspect, as is standard procedure in such cases.  Our Department also does not release arrest photographs of juvenile suspects.  No further information about either incident is available for release.