HOUSTON A student at Sterling High School was found with a loaded handgun Wednesday morning, the Houston Independent School District said.

HISD said the arrest was made at 10:48 a.m., about 10 minutes after school police received a tip from the Houston Police Department that a student may have a gun on campus.

HPD officers were investigating allegations that the 14-year-old student used the weapon to threaten an individual off-campus on Tuesday. HISD police officers took the teen into custody without incident and confiscated the weapon.

The student told police he was carrying the gun to protect himself from gang members in the surrounding neighborhood.

Because the teen is a juvenile, his name was not released.

The incident will be referred to the Harris County District Attorney s Office for criminal prosecution, according to HISD.

In a press release, HISD spokesman Jason Spencer said the appropriate disciplinary action would be taken against the student.

Many students said they never even knew what happened.

It s scary. But they handled it the right way without letting us know so we wouldn t panic, said Drecka Alexander, a senior at Sterling. Cause, you know, when stuff like that go on and you tell them, students panic and you don t know what a student will do if they panic. They ll probably run off campus or something like that.

Some parents say they are concerned, however, because they were informed of what happened by members of the media when they picked up their kids.

I m upset, parent Erlett Westby said. I haven t gotten a call or anything.

HISD said parents of students at the school would be notified about the incident by phone.

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