NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Feb. 3, 2023) – Police say the student who had a gun at Welty Middle School Thursday was taken to Muskingum County’s juvenile attention center awaiting charges from the Tuscarawas County juvenile prosecutor.
Captain Tessa Pohovey says the student was seen taking the .22-caliber handgun out of their backpack in a bathroom around dismissal time a little after 2:30 p.m.
Another student notified the principal. Police were then called and took the student into custody.
The gun was not loaded but magazines containing ammunition were in the backpack and seized.
Pohovey says she believes the student was showing the gun off to others.
“As far as I’ve been able to tell, there was never a direct threat to any specific person or even a threat to use the firearm,” said Pohovey.
Pohovey says she feels the school handled this appropriately.
“I will commend them on their quick action on this,” Pohovey said. “It seems it was pretty immediate once it was brought to their attention.”
New Philadelphia School District Superintendent Amy Wentworth sent out a robocall after the incident letting families know what happened.
Wentworth said they would continue working with police to handle the situation according to applicable state laws and the New Philadelphia Schools’ student handbook.