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Student held in gun incident at Willowbrook school

January 21, 2011 |  6:00 pm

A 17-year-old high school student was arrested after he was intercepted trying to bring a loaded handgun onto the campus of a South Los Angeles-area continuation school, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said Friday. 

The incident, which occurred Thursday morning at Cesar Chavez Continuation High School in unincorporated Willowbrook, came two days after two students were wounded -- one of them critically -- when a Gardena High School student reached into his backpack and accidentally fired a gun that was stashed inside, authorities said.

The 17-year-old suspect, who has not been identified because of his age, has been charged as a juvenile by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office with two possession-related criminal counts. Prosecutors also are seeking to have the boy tried as an adult.

In the latest case, sheriff's detectives were near the campus attempting to locate a witness to an unrelated crime when they saw a 17-year boy acting suspiciously about 8:15 a.m. near the entrance to the Cesar Chavez campus, which is part of the Compton Unified School District, said sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker.

Detectives approached the youth, a Compton resident, who was found with .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol in his pocket, Parker said. He was arrested on suspicion of several gun-related charges, including possession of a firearm on school grounds and is being held at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall.

The boy, whose name was not released because he is a minor, is a gang member, Parker said. Sheriff's detectives determined that the weapon had been stolen in 2007 during a residential burglary in the San Fernando Valley.


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-- Andrew Blankstein