Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gun confiscated from Clearwater High student during brief lockdown

CLEARWATER — A 15-year-old Clearwater High School student was arrested on a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon on school grounds Tuesday after he was found to have a semi-automatic handgun in class.

Police said Markazell D. Hodges was confronted by a school resource officer, who pulled him out of class and confiscated the .380 pistol. The incident led to a school lockdown for about 10 minutes, beginning at 12:34 p.m.

The school resource officer was told by another student that Hodges had the firearm. As multiple police squad cars converged on the campus at 540 S Hercules Ave., students were herded into classrooms and the cafeteria and kept there as a safety precaution.

Student Chris Dacier said he and others were puzzled about what caused the abrupt lockdown during the lunch hour, and only later heard that a gun had been discovered on campus. "I was in the cafeteria," Dacier said. "I was just wondering what was going on. Then they had us close the blinds, and that's when I realized it was serious."

The gun was unloaded, though Hodges also had ammunition with him, police said.

A second male student was also detained by police, in handcuffs, in the back of a cruiser in front of the school on Tuesday afternoon. That student was released into the custody of an adult man who arrived at the school. Police have not yet identified the student.

Clearwater High Principal Keith Mastorides informed parents of the incident in a recorded phone message that was sent out Tuesday afternoon. He said the school was "briefly compelled by the Clearwater Police Department to go into a lock down" that was "due to reports of an identified student with a weapon on our campus."

He added, "Rest assured, we followed protocol and policy to ensure your child's safety."

Dawn Tayor, a Clearwater woman who was picking up her son from the high school when the lockdown commenced, said she was concerned to learn that a firearm had been brought on campus.

"I don't approve of it, at all," Tayor said. "Where did the kid get the gun from? That's the question."

Peter Jamison can be reached at pjamison@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4157.

Gun confiscated from Clearwater High student during brief lockdown 09/18/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 7:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What you need to know for Thursday, Oct. 19

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today

    White nationalist Richard Spencer is scheduled to speak at the University of Florida tonight and the school is on high alert for tensions. [Associated Press]
  2. Bowen: Park land deal raises Penny for Pasco questions

    Environment

    The Penny for Pasco is unambiguous.

    At least it is supposed to be.

    There was no equivocating in 2004 when Penny for Pasco supporters detailed how the sales tax proceeds would be spent: schools, transportation, public safety and environmental lands. No money for parks. No money for recreation.

    Pasco County is considering a loan from its Environmental Lands Acquisition and Mangement Program to buy land for a park in the Villages of Pasadena Hills in east-central Pasco. Shown here is the Jumping Gully Preserve in Spring Hil, acquired by ELAMP in 2009 and 2011.
[Douglas R. Clifford, Times]
  3. Another Tampa Bay agency loses tax credits worth millions in dispute over application error

    News

    LARGO — Another Tampa Bay housing agency has lost out on a multi-million dollar tax credit award because of problems with its application.

    A duplex in Rainbow Village, a public housing complex in Largo. The Pinellas County Housing Authority is planning to build new affordable-housing in the complex but was recently disqualified from a state tax credit award because of an issue with its application.
  4. Live blog: Many unknowns as Richard Spencer speaks in Gainesville today

    College

    GAINESVILLE — A small army of law enforcement officers, many of them from cities and counties around the state, have converged on the University of Florida in preparation for today's speaking appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

    Florida Highway Patrol cruisers jammed the parking lot Wednesday at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, part of a big show of force by law enforcement ahead of Thursday's appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer. [KATHRYN VARN | Times]
  5. As Clearwater Marine Aquarium expands, it asks the city for help

    Growth

    CLEARWATER — When Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates saw an architect's initial design for the facility's massive expansion project, he told them to start all over.

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium Veterinarian Shelly Marquardt (left), Brian Eversole, Senior Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biologist (middle) and Devon Francke, Supervisor of Sea Turtle Rehab, are about to give a rescued juvenile green sea turtle, suffering from a lot of the Fibropapillomatosis tumors, fluids at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Wednesday afternoon. Eventually when the turtle is healthy enough the tumors will be removed with a laser and after it is rehabilitated it will be released back into the wild.  -  The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is launching a $66 million renovation to expand its facilities to take in injured animals and space to host visitors. The aquarium is asking the city for a $5 million grant Thursday to help in the project. American attitudes toward captive animals are changing. Sea World is slipping after scrutiny on the ethics of captive marine life. But CEO David Yates says CMA is different, continuing its mission of rehab and release, it's goal is to promote education, not exploitation. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times