‘It was terrifying’: Palo Duro High School students react to suspect, gun on campus

VIDEO: ‘It was terrifying’: Palo Duro High School students react to suspect, gun on campus
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 8:35 PM CDT|Updated: May. 10, 2023 at 10:14 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo police arrested a 15-year-old student after finding a gun on the campus of Palo Duro High School.

According to police, the student did not have a weapon in possession, but after an extensive search of the school, a handgun was found.

Some students were able to describe what was going through their minds when they realized this was not a drill.

“We were all getting ready to leave to our fifth period, and the press word ever came on the announcements and said, we’re in secure. and I was saying, ‘Oh, it’s okay. It’s a drill or whatever,’ and then it just kept going for two periods and then more. And then we’re just there for like, four hours,” says Eli Igiranez, a junior at Palo Duro High School.

Earlier today, police received a tip at Palo Duro that a student had a weapon at school. The school immediately went into lockdown.

“You get that feeling like, I’m in danger. I started worrying about my girlfriend, my sisters in school, and stuff like that. It was family and people close to me that I was worried about, it wasn’t mostly about me,” says Yousef Ali, a sophomore at Palo Duro High School.

According to some students, Palo Duro High School had a lockdown drill earlier that morning. Some believed the lockdown that happened later in the day was just another drill. However, they quickly realized that was not the case.

“I was thinking like, wow, I could really like die. It was terrifying, to be honest,” says Igiranez.

Amarillo Police Department says the tip they receive today saved lives.

“That student potentially saved their entire school from the heartache and other things that could have happened if no one had said anything,” says Sergeant Carla Burr.

The 15-year-old boy has been arrested and will be booked into the Youth Center of the High Plains on charges of unlawfully carrying a weapon in a weapon-free zone and tampering with a serial number.

“If an adult is found in possession of a weapon, they are immediately arrested especially if they’re in a weapon-free zone; they’re going to be taken to jail. With youth, because they’re under the age of 17, there are some steps that we have to take to get them approved to go to jail,” explains Burr.

Burr goes on to say the likelihood of the student seeing jail time is high, however, the department has to follow certain protocols because he is a minor.