Police arrest student, accused of keeping gun in locker at McKay

A McKay High School student was arrested on Wednesday after police found a gun in a school locker.

“There was no indicated threat against the school or any individuals and the school did not go into a lockdown,” Antonio Mercado, an assistant principal at McKay, said in a statement to families Wedneday afternoon.

The 16-year-old boy was lodged at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center, according to Salem Police Department spokeswoman Angela Hedrick.

The arrest stemmed from “an investigation out in the community involving McKay students,” Mercado wrote.

Hedrick said detectives received information that prompted them to contact the school.

School workers quickly found the students and conducted a safety check. They discovered one student had a gun in their locker, which was confiscated, according to Mercado’s statement.

Hedrick said the serial number on the gun had been “obliterated.” Police and school officials released no information about the type of gun or if it was loaded.

“I know this is concerning news to hear. Please know that school safety is our most important priority, and we will always take every possible measure to keep everyone safe,” Mercado wrote in his statement. “We all have a part in keeping our schools safe. Weapons have no place in our school and we ask for your partnership in talking with your children about the seriousness of this issue.”

He said the police were investigating  and he had no other information to release. He said students and families with questions about the incident can contact the school at 503-399-3080.

People can use SafeOregon to make a confidential report about a safety concern by calling or texting 844-472-3367. Tips also can be emailed to [email protected] or submitted on the SafeOregon app. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Mercado’s title. Salem Reporter apologizes for the error.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.