Indiana Teen Charged as Adult for Bringing Gun to School

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SOUTH BEND, IN – A 16-year-old boy is facing charges after a gun was found in his backpack at Riley High School on Tuesday. Kewuan Johnson has been charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Handgun and was arraigned in court on Thursday.

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office has stated that because the gun was found on school property, the offense is a felony. Though individuals under 18 are typically filed in juvenile court, those charged with certain crimes, including the Unlawful Carrying of a Handgun, must be charged as adults if they are at least 16 years old at the time of the alleged act.

Johnson is being held at the St. Joseph County Jail, with his case serving as a reminder of the ongoing issue of gun violence in American schools and the importance of school safety measures.

This case also raises questions about the effectiveness of laws aimed at preventing minors from accessing firearms, particularly in states with lenient gun laws. The prosecution of minors as adults for gun-related offenses has been a contentious issue, with many arguing that young offenders are more likely to receive harsher sentences and less access to resources for rehabilitation.

On Tuesday, South Bend Police Department investigated two separate cases involving weapons being brought into schools. 

Administrators at Riley High School and Jackson Middle School were alerted of students possibly being in possession of firearms. A pellet gun was found in the latter case, and both students were transported to the Juvenile Justice Center. No injuries were reported in either case.

The South Bend Police Department credits the quick work of School Resource Officers, school administrators, and security staff for quickly addressing these incidents. The department also thanks the tipsters for saying something so they could do something.

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