One day after a former student shot and killed 17 people at his Florida high school, Montgomery County Police arrested an 18-year-old Clarksburg High School student for bringing a loaded handgun and knife to school.
A Montgomery County Police school resource officer arrested Alwin Chen at approximately 2:20 p.m. Thursday after police and school security confiscated two weapons Chen had in his possession, according to a Montgomery County Police press release.
Chen became the focus of police and school security interest after the police officer based at Clarksburg received a tip that Chen may have brought a gun with him to school.
The officer, along with school security personnel, pulled Chen out of class a little after 2 p.m. and brought him to an office where they asked Chen about the gun.
Chen, who lives on the 11700 block of Gunners Drive in Germantown, said he had brought a handgun to school which he had kept in his book bag. He also said he was carrying a knife in his front shirt pocket.
After recovering the weapons, Chen was placed under arrest and brought to the County Central Processing Unit where he was charged with possession of a handgun, possession of a firearm by a person under 21 years old and possession of a firearm on school property.
Clarksburg High School Principal Edward Owusu sent a letter to students and parents the same day commending the school security for acting so quickly after receiving the tip.
“This illegal and dangerous behavior will not be tolerated in our school community,” Owusu wrote. “Weapons of any type are not permitted on or near school property. Any student caught with a weapon will be referred to law enforcement and punished accordingly. I want to commend our staff, [School Resource Officers] and the security team for their vigilance, quick response and efforts to ensure that our school remains a safe place for our students to learn. . . Ensuring the safety of every student at Clarksburg is a top priority and a responsibility that I take very seriously.”
Owusu also said he is going to try to institute a new texting communication system for concerned students.
“We will continue with school security protocols,” Owusu said. “But one thing I would like to put in place is some process for students to be able to text concerns anonymously. I plan to research this over the weekend. Something like, ‘If you see something, text something.’”
A person who answered the telephone at Chen’s residence said, “We cannot talk,” when asked for a comment on Chen’s arrest.
Police are trying to determine a possible motive for Chen’s actions, and are currently searching Chen’s residence. They are also trying to confirm ownership of the handgun and purchasing history.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Firearms Investigations Unit at 240-773-6400.