FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - A 17-year-old high school student was escorted from school yesterday by police who found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol in his back pack along with narcotics, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.
Robertson said the initial investigation by law enforcement revealed that there were no known threats to the students or faculty; he commended the quick response and dissemination of information between Franklin Township School officials and Somerset County law enforcement agencies resulting in the quick recovery of the firearm without incident.
Robertson provided the following account:
At 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, Franklin Township Alternative School officials were tipped that a student at the Middle School had the gun and narcotics with him on school grounds. The school administrator contacted police who immediately responded to the Middle School along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit.
Police met with the school officials and immediately made contact with the juvenile who was escorted, along with his belongings, to an office and subsequently transported to Franklin Township Police Department.
Detectives obtained a Superior Court Search Warrant for permission to search a back pack belonging to the student; the search uncovered a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun inside the back pack, along with drug paraphernalia. The juvenile was arrested and processed at the Franklin Township Police Department.
The juvenile was charged with second degree, unlawful possession of a weapon, fourth degree, possession of a weapon by a person under the age of 21, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a disorderly person offense. The juvenile was lodged at the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center pending a detention hearing.
Thursday's incident marked the second time in a month that police recovered a loaded weapon from inside a school in Franklin Township. On Feb. 23, a loaded 9mm handgun was discovered in the backpack of a student at Franklin Township High School, according to Robertson.