Student with loaded handgun arrested inside Allen High School during lockdown, D.A. says

Written by on September 21, 2022

Student with loaded handgun arrested inside Allen High School during lockdown, D.A. says

By Sarah Mueller
September 21, 2022

UPDATE: District Attorney Jim Martin said the student admitted Sept. 22 to the allegations, was found delinquent, and was ordered by the court to secured juvenile facility.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — The Lehigh County District Attorney’s office is clarifying last week’s incident at Allen High School where a student was arrested with a loaded semi-automatic handgun. 

District Attorney Jim Martin confirmed that the 14-year-old was arrested inside the school during the lockdown.

Martin said he issued Wednesday’s statement to clarify what occurred that day and in response to a Morning Call article published Wednesday. Allen High staffers told the newspaper the incident left them feeling unsafe and confused, and they questioned school officials’ communications about what happened and their response.

Allentown School District spokeswoman Melissa Reese said the district had no comment and referred questions back to the district attorney’s office.

According to Martin, Allentown police responded to a call of a gunshot just before 8:50 a.m. last Thursday in the 1500 block Linden Street, near West Park. A witness saw several boys running toward the high school, including one wearing an ankle monitor. 

The incident caused several schools to go into lockdown, including Allen High, Raub Middle School and Ramos Elementary School.

An Allen High School resource officer identified the student based on the description and the ankle monitoring GPS location information. The student, whose name has not been released, was arrested with the gun inside the school at 10:09 a.m. — about an hour and 20 minutes after the initial call, Martin said.

Only one student was arrested, Martin said. That conflicts with a message sent to district staff by Principal Cheryl Clark that indicated two people were taken into custody, the Morning Call reported.

In a news release, Martin commended the Allentown Police Department and school resource officer for their quick response.

The suspect is too young to be charged as an adult, Martin said. A juvenile detention hearing was held Friday and the boy continues to be detained, he said.

The student is charged with carrying a firearm without a license, a felony; and misdemeanor charges of firearm possession by a minor and possession of a firearm on school grounds, the district attorney’s office said.


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