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Boys pull out knife, gun in argument in 7th-grade class

January 26, 2012 |  4:05 pm

Security was beefed up at Samuel Gompers Middle School in South Los Angeles on Thursday after two boys pulled out a knife and gun during an argument in a 7th-grade class.

The boys began arguing Wednesday afternoon when one of them pulled out a knife, prompting the other to grab a backpack and take out a gun, said Patrick Sinclair, spokesman for the nonprofit Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, which operates Gompers.

"The minute it happened, the other children were on their feet and out the door,"  Sinclair said of the 20 or so students in the class when the confrontation broke out about 2:45 p.m. "It all happened very quickly."

He told The Times that both students were promptly apprehended by campus security, along with a third student who was not in the classroom but brought the backpack with the gun. All three were turned over the Los Angeles Police Department. It was unclear why the students were arguing.

Gompers is one of 22 schools in Boyle Heights, South L.A. and Watts that were founded under the direction of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as part of his efforts to help reform local schools.

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— Robert J. Lopez

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