An 18-year-old East Meadow High School student is under arrest after a backpack search uncovered a starter pistol Wednesday morning, Nassau County police said.
District Superintendent Louis R. DeAngelo said in a statement that the incident is under investigation and that students and staff were at no time "exposed to any danger related to this matter."
DeAngelo described the item found as a "weapon" and said it was not loaded. He said authorities were attempting to determine if it was authentic.
Police said it was a starter pistol. Starter pistols normally fire blanks and are used to start races. It was not clear whether the starter pistol had been modified in any way.
The pistol was discovered during a search of backpacks after "a smell of marijuana" was noted, police said. The incident was reported at 11:16 a.m.
In his statement issued early Wednesday afternoon, DeAngelo said: "The Nassau County Police are currently investigating a matter at East Meadow High School involving a weapon. Law enforcement authorities are still determining whether or not the weapon, which was not loaded, is authentic.
"The student involved, as well as the suspected weapon, have been removed from the building by the police."
Police did not identify the student but confirmed he was arrested and was being questioned at the Third Precinct station house in Williston Park. Police have not yet detailed charges in the case.
With Nicole Fuller