Pasco High student arrested for bringing an AR-15 rifle, ammo to campus

He bought the gun the night before and planned to use it for hunting, officials said.
An AR-15 (AP file photo)
An AR-15 (AP file photo)
Published Feb. 23, 2018|Updated Feb. 23, 2018

Pasco High School senior Dillon Nathanial Xynides, 18, was arrested Friday morning after officials discovered an AR-15 rifle and ammunition in his truck parked in the school parking lot. He had purchased the gun a day earlier to use for hog hunting, school district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said.

The school was never under any sort of threat, and did not lock down.

In their report, Dade City police officers stated an administrator discovered the weapon while conducting a routine parking lot sweep and saw shell casings in the bed of the truck. The administrator looked in the window and saw a case in the passenger seat.

Officials called Xynides to his truck and asked him to open the case. That's when they found the rifle and ammunition. Xynides was arrested on a charge of possessing a weapon at a school, a third-degree felony.

"By all accounts, Xynides is said to be a very good young man with no prior disciplinary actions noted by school administration," Dade City Police Lt. Brian Uppercue wrote in a news release.

"He did post a video of the firearm on Snapchat last evening, but there were no expressed threats made and the school was never placed in a lock-down. He has been cooperative with investigators. Police have met with Xynides' mother, who also has been very forthcoming and cooperative."

Because the school district has a zero-tolerance policy, Cobbe said, Xynides was removed from campus and will be referred to the School Board for expulsion.

"There is no reason and no excuse to bring any weapon, let alone an assault weapon, on a school property, especially in light of the shooting in South Florida barely a week ago," Cobbe said. "It's just stupid."

Principal Kari Kadlub called parents to explain the situation. The text is on the district safety Facebook page.