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Teen jailed after TikTok video shows gun sticking out of pants at school, FL cops say

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 3/9/2022 Mark Price, The Charlotte Observer

A shocking TikTok video got a high school student arrested this week, after it revealed he was walking around campus with a pistol in his waistband, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in Central Florida.

The gun was loaded ... and it was stolen, the department said in a news release.

It happened Tuesday, March 8, at Atlantic High in Port Orange, and a school resource officer is the one who made the discovery, officials said. Port Orange is south of Daytona Beach.

“The deputy was notified around 11:40 a.m. after the TikTok video was reported to school administration. In the video, a 16-year-old student appeared to have a gun tucked into his waistband,” department officials said.

“School Resource Deputy Paul Passerrello learned that the student was in the school gymnasium, headed there and found him on the basketball court. ... He asked him to show his waistband area, which revealed the pistol grip visible in the front.”

The teen was put in handcuffs and arrested outside the gym, and the gun was confiscated, officials said.

The weapon was identified as a Sig Sauer model P365 9mm handgun and it held “a loaded magazine with 10 bullets,” sheriff’s office officials said.

“A second loaded magazine with 11 bullets along with a holster were discovered in the student’s backpack,” the department said.

“Further investigation revealed that the student stole the handgun from a relative’s locked closet without permission. The relative is pressing charges for the theft.”

TikTok is a social media app with millions of users who post short-form videos, often for entertainment, according to Influencer MarketingHub.

The video was recorded by a fellow student, who uploaded it to TikTok, officials said. She told investigators “she didn’t realize her friend had a gun and thought he was showing his abs when he pulled up his shirt, revealing his waistband,” officials said.

As for why the student had a weapon, he suggested it was for protection after “he had been robbed at work last week,” sheriff’s office officials said.

The teen was “charged with possession of a firearm on school property, grand theft of a firearm and carrying a concealed firearm,” officials said.

He was being held “in secure detention” by the Department of Juvenile Justice, officials said.

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