A 15-year-old Morgantown High School student was taken into juvenile custody after being found with an unloaded, stolen handgun on campus Thursday.

Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said officers responded to a report that a student had a gun, and they arrived to find the boy, who had been reported as a runaway, outside the school near the bleachers at Pony Lewis Field.

“It was a large-caliber revolver and it was hidden on his person,” Preston said. “It was not being brandished or flashed or anything like that.”

The boy, a freshman, was taken into custody without incident around noon Thursday. There were no injuries.

The chief said officers assumed the gun was loaded. He’s glad it wasn’t.

“You always consider every firearm that you deal with as being a loaded weapon,” the chief said. “Bringing firearms into the school, bringing firearms around juveniles and the large assemblies, it just begs of wanton endangerment.”

Morgantown police were investigating the student’s possible intentions. The Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department was helping with the runaway and stolen gun aspects of the investigation.

“We don’t know what the intent is and we won’t assume what the intent is,” Preston said. “We’ll investigate fully to find out whether there was an intention to cause harm, whether that harm was to be directed at a specific person or individual.”


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  • thornton

    The incident I understand...your dismissive response to the incident, I do not.
    I'm hope you are never sorry for your misunderstanding of both changing times and the potential for tragedy.

    Consider looking wider than your own experiences of the Past or your own predilection for an agenda.

  • Jim

    As I said, he shouldn't have had it. It was evidently stolen. I don't see it as anything more dangerous than if he drove to school in a stolen car. Good. They caught him. When I grew up, you could bring your gun to school and hunt on the way home. It didn't cause any problems.

    • Danny

      Jim: I had the same type of childhood experience, in the early 'sixties. Lots of us had guns in our cars, and hunted after school. One day Jimmy Ramey and Greg Settles got into a fight at lunch time, and Greg went to his car, got his 30.06, and shot Jim in the neck. Jim recovered, and Greg finished high school at some lumbering work camp in Elkins. No big deal in the long run, just boys being boys.

    • thornton

      Reckon the lad was going hunting after school with the stolen revolver, Jim?
      For what...copper wire?

      A stolen car would be a tight fit for most lockers, backpacks or pockets.
      Your car analogy fails.

      • Jim

        Evidently, he had trouble concealing the revolver as well. Someone saw it and turned him in. I'm sorry you're having so much trouble understanding things.

  • Shadow

    Was Bulling the motive? Hopefully, we will know later.

  • Smitty

    This is real simple, Jim is a nut and should be committed! Non-disturbing? Are you kidding me?

  • Debra

    If you are a runaway, that's disturbing. If you are truant, that's disturbing. If you bring a gun loaded or unloaded on campus, that is disturbing. The combination of the three is very disturbing.

    • Ax Man

      It appear that you are disturbed.

  • SM


    I went to an equal opportunity (military) school. Everybody had a gun.

  • JL

    A kid brings a handgun to one of the biggest high schools in West Virginia and Jim labels it as a "pretty non-disturbing incident"?

    • chad

      Jim is from 1834 when handguns at school wasn't a big deal

      • Danny

        Actually, gun ownership was pretty rare in the U.S. until well into the 20th century, as proven in probate records. In "Clash of Loyalties," that fine book about the Civil War in WV, there's the story of over 60 men in Barbour County volunteering for the confederate army, but being sent home because they had only one pistol among them and the CSA government had no guns to send to WV. A gun-toting populace is a new idea in America.

        • Ax Man

          You have to be kidding.

  • Jim

    Unloaded revolver. He probably shouldn't have it at school. Shouldn't have had that one at all, as a matter of fact. It was stolen. I don't know what he wanted it for, but nobody was in any danger. Pretty non-disturbing incident there.

    • lee arthur

      Jim , you are truly an idiot.

    • thornton

      A 7 year old child pointing a pencil and saying "bang" is a "pretty non-disturbing incident."

      A 15 year old child with an, at the time of discovery, unloaded, stolen revolver raises the level of disturbance about 100 floors higher.

      Hopefully, the much ado about nothing analysis is simply the result of a meal of bad clams.