Serra High teen arrested for carrying unloaded gun in his backpack

Claimed it was protection against bullies

SAN DIEGO - A Serra High School student who said he was bullied repeatedly on campus was arrested with an unloaded gun in his backpack.

The 15-year-old told San Diego police he had the gun as protection against bullies who threatened his life. 

San Diego police Lt. Steve Behrendt told 10News the teen and a friend were stopped by officers conducting a truancy sweep in Tierrasanta. When police spotted the teens near De Portola Middle School, they took off running.

"As one of the uniformed officers walked up to one of the juveniles, he told the officers there was a gun in his backpack," said Behrendt.

The Serra freshman told police he and his friend had been bullied for several weeks by some kids at school. One of those kids had made the teen feel that his life was in danger.

"So what he did was that night he went home and the gun was locked up in a secure box, however he was able to defeat the lock and remove the handgun from the locked box," said Behrendt.

The next morning, the boy hid the handgun in a canyon near Serra and went to class. At some point that morning, he claimed the bully approached him again. The teen and his friend left school, got the gun out of the canyon, and visited a teacher at De Portola Middle School.

It was after that encounter that police spotted the teens.

Officers found no ammunition in the boy's backpack or in his pockets, but taking a gun to school is a felony, whether it is loaded or not.

A San Diego Unified spokesman told 10News the district does not comment on student discipline.

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