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Orange High School locked down after bullet found; student in custody after rifle, ammo found in car

It is not believed the student had any 'harmful intentions,' police said, but criminal charges are pending
Posted at 4:27 PM, May 02, 2023

Orange High School was under a “modified lockdown” Tuesday afternoon after a single bullet was found in the cafeteria, according to a notice sent to Orange Schools families. A student later admitted to owning the bullet and was taken into police custody after a rifle was found in their car.

During the modified lockdown, students were not permitted to be in the halls, classroom doors were locked and instruction continued while police officers and school administrators conducted searches and investigated the report of the bullet found, states the letter sent to families by Superintendent Dr. Lynn Campbell.

After a student admitted to owning the bullet, they were escorted by administrators and officers to their car, where they had a small-caliber rifle and ammunition, which were immediately seized by police, the letter states.

School officials administered “appropriate disciplinary action,” the superintendent’s letter stated, and Pepper Pike Police Department took the student into custody.

Pepper Pike Police confirmed in a news release that they responded to the school and assisted staff with proper safety procedures. The release states that the student who owned the round "was forthcoming and assisted police and staff with the investigation."

"Though it is not believed at this time that the student had any harmful intentions, criminal charges are pending,” police said.

The student and additional property were removed from the school grounds by police, the release states.

“I commend our staff and local law enforcement for their alertness and quick, effective response to this situation,” Campbell said. “Providing a safe learning environment for our students and staff is a priority. We will keep you informed during these types of situations and ask that you remember that all accurate, official information on these matters will come directly from the Orange Schools.”

News 5 has a crew heading to Orange to learn more about this developing story.

This incident comes less than a month after an 18-year-old West Geauga High School student was arrested after an alleged school shooting plot with some similarities to what happened at Orange High School Tuesday.

Brandon Morrissette allegedly left a single bullet in the boys’ bathroom on April 3, and after a student noticed the bullet and alerted school officials, they combed through video surveillance to narrow down who may have left the bullet there.

Morrissette was one of the students interviewed, and a 9mm handgun with three loaded magazines were found in his backpack. He was also armed with a knife. He was arrested by police immediately, and, “admitted he was going to go to the school library and open fire on students there," court records state. "He chose that location because that was where the greatest number of students would be at the time."

RELATED: Court records: West Geauga High School student planned mass shooting at library

Court records: West Geauga High School student planned mass shooting at library

A grand jury indicted Morrissette on felony charges Tuesday morning, including attempted aggravated murder, illegal possession of a deadly weapon in a school safety zone and inducing panic.

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