Student who took rifle onto bus arrested

Associated Press • May 3, 2007 at 9:54 AM

NASHVILLE - Police have arrested a high school student who they accused of carrying a rifle onto a city bus a day after getting into an argument with a peer.

Police said 15-year-old Benjamin Mitchell admitted to carrying an unloaded .22 caliber semiautomatic rifle onto a bus, saying he did it to protect himself after he was threatened by another student.

He surrendered to police Wednesday night and was booked into juvenile detention, charged with unlawful gun possession.

Police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford said a citizen waiting at a city bus shelter saw a young man with a long object down his pants leg at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Officers found a rifle wedged into a wheel well next to an unidentified 16-year-old who said the gun belonged to Mitchell, who had left the bus. The 16-year-old was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a weapon.

Both teenagers are students at Jere Baxter Alternative Learning Center. Police spotted Mitchell there later in the day, but he fled.

Mitchell is a former student of Pearl-Cohn Comprehensive Business Magnet High School and police found that he had been involved in a heated argument with a Pearl-Cohn student the previous day. Police have no reason to believe students at either school are in danger, Mumford said, and classes were being held as scheduled. AP-CS-05-03-07 1150EDT

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