ISLAND LAKE – A Matthews Middle School student faces a felony charge after bringing a loaded gun to school Monday, school officials and authorities said.
“It was very scary to find out my son is in the middle of a school that has a loaded gun, especially with what just happened at another school,” said parent Jaunine Moore of Island Lake.
Three students were shot to death Feb. 27 by a student gunman at an Ohio high school.
Island Lake Police Chief William McCorkle said the Island Lake student has been charged as a juvenile with unlawful use of a weapon, a Class 4 felony, reckless conduct and disorderly conduct.
Wauconda District 118 Superintendent Daniel J. Coles said two students reported to administrators Monday morning that a fellow student had brought a gun to school. The principal and assistant principal brought the student to the main office and asked him to empty his pockets.
“He had a gun,” Coles said.
Coles said the school went into lockdown for three hours starting at 8:10 a.m. while police interviewed students and conducted a K-9 search of the lockers, backpacks and other areas of the building.
McCorkle said the student was taken to Depke Juvenile Justice Complex in Vernon Hills.
“We don’t know where the gun came from,” McCorkle said. “It’s part of the investigation.
“The father was just as shocked as everyone else, and was very sincere,” McCorkle said.
Coles praised the students, staff and police.
“The two students who brought forth the initial information should be commended for their actions,” Coles said.
“This situation is of great concern to folks,” Coles added. “It’s something you hope never happens. The staff and the police department did a tremendous job in handling the situation.”
About 20 parents met with the superintendent and police chief Monday afternoon at Island Lake Village Hall. Some expressed frustration that they weren’t informed earlier of the incident and learned about it via news media.
“We had to make sure students and staff were safe before we could share information,” Coles said.
“Communication is our secondary concern. We were following the training we’ve had. We can’t rush the investigation. We have to make sure we haven’t missed something along the way.”
Michael Herbst of Island Lake said police and school officials were to be commended “for averting a potential disaster.
“More important than parents not hearing about what was going on for an hour or so is that no one got hurt,” Herbst said.
Francis Trujillo of McHenry was picking up his sixth-grader shortly before 2 p.m. at the school on Darrell Road.
“I’ve never heard of anything like this around here,” Trujillo said. “This is crazy. It’s freaking me out. I’m going to get my kid out of here.”
Coles said an assembly will be held to inform students about Monday’s events. Counselors will be available this week to speak to students and parents.
McCorkle said the charged student “will never come back to this school.”