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UPDATE: Loaded gun on Hamilton freshman student was stolen, police say

UPDATE @ 3:40 p.m.:

Hamilton Police said the male student who brought a loaded handgun to a city school was in possession of stolen property.

The 16-year Hamilton Freshman School student had a 25-caliber handgun at the school this morning.

Police said the gun found on the ninth-grade student was reported stolen from a Hamilton residence in early November and the burglary remains under investigation.

The student remains in custody at Butler County Juvenile Detention Center and is charged with “illegal conveyance” and “possession of a deadly weapon at school.”

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INITIAL REPORT:

A Hamilton Freshman School student was found in possession of a gun during a search on Wednesday, school officials said.

The search happened because the student was believed to have been using a vape, which is a cigarette alternative, officials said.

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According to a letter sent to parents and guardians of the school’s students, school officials “immediately put the student in the custody of our (Hamilton Police) School Resource Officer (SRO) and standard safety procedures were conducted that resulted in the removal of the weapon and student from the building within minutes of the discovery.”

After that, police and school officials determined “there was no other viable threat present and no lockdown was deemed necessary,” according to the letter, signed by Nancy Hulshuit, the school’s principal. “The school resumed on our regular schedule.”

Hulshuit encouraged parents to continue stressing the importance of school safety to their children and report anything that may be a threat.

The school district in a news release credited planning and “the constant use of safety drills” played a role in the situation’s quick resolution.

The district also noted it will be expanding its number of school resource officers in the district, adding two starting Jan. 7, when students return from winter break. That will bring the total to seven such police officers to secure the district’s 13 school buildings.

The district also plans to expand use of random metal-detecting wands, mostly in schools with the higher grades, as students enter schools in the morning as a deterrent for students taking weapons into the buildings. Such wands have been used at football games and other school events.

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