Gun and box cutter recovered at Wauwatosa West HS, searches and new security measures coming Monday

NOW: Gun and box cutter recovered at Wauwatosa West HS, searches and new security measures coming Monday

WAUWATOSA, WI (CBS 58) -- Dangerous weapons were recovered in two separate incidents at Wauwatosa West High School Friday, including a handgun.

The school district alerted parents in an email late Friday afternoon. When school resumes Monday, several new security measures will be in place.

The Wauwatosa Police Department said the student with the gun was being talked to about a suspected vaping incident. An administrator asked if there was anything else concerning in that student’s backpack and that’s when they admitted to having a gun.

Wauwatosa School District Superintendent Dr. Demond Means said, "The students responsible for being in possession of weapons today will face the most staunch discipline we can apply as a school system."

The Wauwatosa School District told parents police responded immediately once the gun was discovered. Police said the handgun was recovered by the student resource officer and the student was taken into custody.

In a separate incident, a box cutter was recovered. The students were not identified by name in the email, and the district did not share their ages or what grades they are in.

Superintendent Dr. Means addressed the school community in remarks that were included in the email to parents, saying, "For the remaining weeks of the school year we will become more vigilant in regards to addressing behavioral issues and ensuring that our schools are safe."

In response to the incident, the district will implement several new security measures Monday, including:

  • Random searches in which one in 10 students will be selected to be searched. The district says students will draw chips to ensure the process is random.
  • Also, on an undisclosed day in the coming weeks the Wauwatosa Police Department will conduct at least one unannounced K9 search at West High School.
  • And there will also be an increased police presence Monday when Wauwatosa police officers will patrol the West High School campus.

Because the email alert went out after the district office closed Friday afternoon, no administrators were made available for an interview.

The district’s email does not say for how long the increased security measures will be in place, but students told us off camera they were notified of the measures via email Friday.

In the video sent to parents, Dr. Means said, "More importantly, ultimately, the responsibility rests with administration -with me- and you have my commitment that we will do everything in our authority and power to make sure that there’s a change in our schools moving forward."

Some parents we spoke with off camera were shocked to learn a gun was found in school, saying this type of thing does not happen at West.

Wauwatosa police said the student was cooperative and charges will be referred to the Milwaukee County Juvenile Justice Center.

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