West Islip High School on Monday.

West Islip High School on Monday. Credit: Barry Sloan

Suffolk County police arrested and charged a 17-year-old student who district officials said brought an unloaded gun and bullets to West Islip High School.

Police were called to the school shortly before 11:30 a.m. Monday after other students reported the gun and the school safety team confiscated the weapon, West Islip Superintendent Paul Romanelli said.

The student was moved to a secure location while the school issued a “hold-in-place” order while police were notified. The order was lifted about an hour later after the school was secure, Romanelli said in a letter to parents. Classes resumed as normal for the rest of the day.

Suffolk police said the student, who was not identified due to his age, was in possession of a revolver and ammunition.

He was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm and criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, all felonies, police said. The teen was to be held overnight at the Suffolk Police Department's Third Precinct and be arraigned Tuesday in youth court at the First District Court in Central Islip.

“I want to commend the students who were aware of this situation and acted responsibly by promptly informing school authorities. Their quick actions allowed us to respond swiftly and appropriately, ensuring the safety of everyone on campus,” Romanelli said. “Today’s incident is a reminder that we need to work in partnership to create and sustain a safe and supportive learning environment for all West Islip students.”

Romanelli told parents to discuss the dangers and consequences of bringing weapons to school and said the district dispatched its crisis team. The district is reviewing safety measures at all buildings. The school principal was contacting families with information regarding the high school, Romanelli said.

“Please be assured that the individual responsible for this incident has been taken into police custody, and appropriate action will be taken by the district,” Romanelli wrote. “We take incidents of this nature very seriously, and we are continuing to work closely with law enforcement. The safety of our school community remains our top priority, and we will continue to take all necessary measures to maintain a secure learning environment.”

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