New Details Emerging on Gun Discovered at Wilson High School

In the wake of yesterday’s news that a gun was discovered on the campus of Wilson High School, additional details are emerging about the incident as parents and students continue to question how the weapon made it through the school’s security.

At approximately 1:15 p.m. on December 1 a gun was found in a student’s backpack and confiscated, while the student in possession of the weapon was detained. Although local news outlets reported yesterday that a teacher first discovered the gun, an article published today by The Washington Post indicates that a student witnessed another student putting a semi-automatic weapon in a classmate’s bag. The witness informed a teacher, who immediately contacted the authorities.

The Beacon, the student newspaper, reports that the incident took place in a math classroom on the fourth floor of the high school. A student interviewed by The Beacon who was in the classroom at the time, but unaware of the potential threat, recounts swift action by school administrators and police. The student in possession of the weapon, as well as those sitting near the student, were removed by authorities with little disruption, according to the interview.

Principal Kimberly Martin, in a statement released last night, did not provide any information on how the gun may have escaped detection by security. NBC Washington reports that security footage shows the student arrested with the weapon did not have the gun when he entered the school. Martin writes that officials have since “inspected all of the more than 50 first doors/entrances and are increasing our daytime coverage of doors during school hours.”

The student’s motivation for bringing the gun on campus also is not clear at this time, and school officials are “not at liberty to comment on an ongoing investigation,” wrote Martin. She assured the community that she and her colleagues are “working closely with the MPD.”

Message from Principal Kimberly Martin at 7:25 p.m. on December 1, 2015

Dear Wilson Community:

As you are aware, a gun was recovered inside a book bag at Wilson today. As per protocol, the administration, along with security and MPD, were able to secure and contain the situation without incident. As always, safety is our primary concern at Wilson High School however, I realize that this incident may raise concerns about your child’s safety at school. As of now, we do not have all of the information about the situation that occurred today, and we are continuing to investigate by speaking with students, reviewing camera footage, and working closely with the MPD in every step of the process. This is an active investigation and details are still emerging; however, please know that the proper protocols are being implemented by school staff and administration. At the time of my earlier message, many details were not available but it was nonetheless important to share with parents that the situation was unfolding. We will continue to work with law enforcement on this matter and will update you as additional details unfold.

In response to the multitude of emails that I have and continue to receive from concerned parents and media outlets, I will try to address those questions and concerns, but only to the limit of which I am able, being mindful not to compromise MPD investigations and to avoid sacrificing accuracy to appease those who want information immediately. As a result, your questions may continue to be left unanswered. Because this is an ongoing investigation, I cannot answer many of the questions that have been raised as I am not at liberty to comment on an ongoing investigation that is under the jurisdiction of MPD. Further, over the next few days, as we learn more information, we may come to discover that what we believed to be true today turns out to be false or misleading in the future.

One important lesson learned from today’s event is that if you “see something, say something,” which is what brought this situation to a sudden and peaceful resolution. Reporting suspicious activity can aid administrators and deans in handling potential situations in a resolute and expeditious manner. In addition, we inspected all of the more than 50 first doors/entrances and are increasing our daytime coverage of doors during school hours.

I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work through this difficult situation. I also want to thank our school partners, including the deans, the administrative team, teachers, MPD, and the many Central Office team members, for their guidance and assistance during this time. The safety of our students is paramount to us, just as it is with you. If you have any further questions or concerns about this incident, please contact me directly. Thank you for your continued support.


Principal Martin