Father of teen who brought gun to school speaks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The handgun found in a gym locker at Westside High School on Wednesday belonged to a student's father, according to the police report.

The report said the gun was found in a locker after a 15-year-old's father came to the school when he noticed his .38-caliber handgun was missing and thought his son might have taken it.

The father, Ronald Shuler, is a city parking enforcement officer and told police the gun was issued to him through work, a point that isn't clear at the moment as the city of Jacksonville said that they don't arm their parking attendants.

Shuler went to the school and contacted the school board police officer when he noticed the gun missing because he said his son had expressed that he thought his life was being threatened and brought the gun for defense.

"I didn't realize it until he was already at the school. I was coming in to take care of some business, and I just noticed it was missing and went up to the school," Shuler said.  "He said last someone was threatening to kill him. When someone says they're after you, I don't know, I was a kid too. And there are gangs."

About the same time as Shuler got to the school, a security guard saw the boy take something from his pants and put it in the locker. Once he was gone, she searched the locker and saw the gun under a book and notified the principal.

The teenager was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm on school property, a third-degree felony. A bullet was found in the teen's sock, but the gun was not loaded.

"I'm worried and hope he learns a lesson, hope we all learn a lesson," Shuler said. "I'm glad nobody got hurt, glad we found him before anybody got hurt."

While the city has confirmed that Shuler works for the city and it doesn't arm it's parking enforcement officers, officials wouldn't offer any more details because the case is part of an ongoing investigation.

News4Jax is not using the teen's name or booking photo due to his age.

A school board spokeswoman had said Wednesday that the gun was not loaded.

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