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Gun found in student's SUV at Creekside High

Deputy: Loaded revolver found in holster; student arrested

St. Johns County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Griffin Hudgins
St. Johns County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Griffin Hudgins

ST. JOHNS, Fla. – Authorities said a St. Johns County High School senior has been arrested after they found a loaded gun in his SUV on campus.

Griffin Hudgins, 18, was charged Thursday with possession of a firearm on school property after a dean found a revolver inside the teen's car in the Creekside High School parking lot, police said

The student has also been suspended for 10 days.

The SUV was parked in a student parking lot, and school officials and sheriff's deputies were searching the cars with a K-9 after getting an unrelated tip when they searched Hudgins' car and made an alarming find, they said.

"That's just appalling. I don't know how a high school student has access to a gun and why they would bring it to school," parent Sue Willingham said.

According to a St. Johns County Sheriff's Office report, the school's dean was searching Hudgins' SUV when he found a loaded gun inside.

Deputies said it was a .38-caliber revolver loaded with five rounds. The dean also found ankle and waist holsters, a box of ammunition and a police-style metal baton, they said.

"There is a zero tolerance for drugs, weapons and violent acts," said Paul Abbatinozzi, director of school services for St. Johns County Schools.

School officials said it's an isolated incident but a serious one.

"We have no information that leads us to believe that there was any intent at all," Abbatinozzi said. "This item was concealed in the back of the vehicle, under some floorboards toward the back of the car. But we have no information that gives us any reason to believe that there was any intent at all (to harm anyone)."

The student told staff that he knew the weapon was in the SUV. Officials said he told them it'd been there for about a month.

"At this point, initially, the student is suspended from school. This is a level-four violation of our student code of conduct, so at this point, that matter will also get turned over to the district discipline committee for review for further action," Abbatinozzi said.

Abbatinozzi said the incident is rare for St. Johns County. They haven't found any other weapons on any school campus in a long time. He said it's been well over a year and a half since something like this happened. He can't think of any similar incidents at Creekside.

As the school and the Sheriff's Office investigate why Hudgins had the gun, and what he was going to use it for, parents are hoping something like this doesn't happen again.

"If the gun is brought on campus, I'm certainly worried about my students' safety. But this could happen anywhere," Willingham said.

Hudgins is out of jail. He bonded out Thursday.

News4Jax spoke with Hudgins over the phone. He declined to comment about the arrest.