PITTSBURG -- A 17-year-old junior at Pittsburg High School and member of the school's football team faces criminal charges and a possible expulsion after he was arrested on suspicion of brandishing a handgun at another student in the school parking lot during a fight with other football players.
The arrest of the student occurred at his Pittsburg home on Monday after an on-campus fight involving the boy and about 20 other students that was sparked by a posting that appeared on Instagram, a social media website, according to Principal Todd Whitmire. Most are on the football team, he said.
"It was a bunch of nonsense that spilled out of control...In probably two minutes, it was over and done with," he said.
"The whole altercation occurred in the parking lot," Pittsburg police Lt. Ron Raman said. "During this altercation, he retrieved the gun from a parked vehicle. He did brandish it at the student he was in the altercation with. No shots were fired."
Raman said the weapon was located in the student's home. It is registered and belongs to a family member, Raman said.
Police will recommend that the student, who was transported to juvenile hall, be charged with bringing a firearm onto schools grounds and brandishing a firearm.
The student did not bring the gun into a school building or classroom, but the incident is being treated as if the weapon was brought onto the campus because the parking lot is considered part of the campus, Whitmire said.
"We did not find out (he had a weapon) until he had already left," the school after the fight occurred, said Whitmire, adding that a recommendation will be made to the school board to expel the student.
It's possible that the other students who were involved in the fight could also face suspension.
The incident occurred just days before the school's graduation ceremony set for June 12.
Students who were involved in the incident will be allowed to take finals after regular school hours.
"You have to strike a balance between discipline and also ensure that academics don't suffer," Whitmire said.
The principal said he could only recall one other time in the past 15 years when a gun was brought onto the Pittsburg High campus.
"As much as you read about gun violence, it's still pretty rare in our school," Whitmire said.
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.