Student accused of taking gun to school campus

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

TOMBALL, Texas - A Tomball High School student was arrested Thursday after police said they found a 20 gauge shotgun in his pickup truck.

Police said the gun was unloaded, but three shotgun shells were found in the truck, which was parked on school grounds.

"It's a scary time that we live in. It's completely different and how do we protect our kids?" asked parent Cari Hale, who was waiting outside the high school to pick up her daughter. "A lot of kids just don't seem to get the seriousness of it."

Tomball ISD officials immediately sent text and email alerts to parents notifying them of the arrest.

"Lack of morals and values are evident on our children and this is just rearing its ugly head yet again," parent Jonathan Frank said.

Police said they found the gun after investigating an off-campus confrontation between two students on Wednesday. Police said Brett Ball, 17, got into an argument with another student and both agreed to settle the dispute after school. Police said during that off-campus confrontation one student claimed to have a gun.

"At which point one of the students got out of his vehicle, opened the toolbox of his truck and displayed the stock of what appeared to be a shotgun," Capt. Rick Grassi said.

Grassi said the other student's mother then dialed 911, but by the time officers arrived Ball was gone. Grassi said the other student had no weapon. Grassi said as police continued investigating the case a Tomball police officer assigned to the high school got word from a student Thursday morning that Ball still had the gun in his pickup truck.

"His intention, we don't know, but the simple fact that he brought a firearm to school campus is not tolerated," said Grassi.

Grassi said Ball never brandished or threatened anyone with the gun, but was he was charged with the third-degree felony of unlawfully carrying a weapon in a prohibited place.

Tomball ISD officials sent this written statement to Local 2:

 "Today, it was reported to an administrator that a weapon was possibly located in a student vehicle at school.  Law enforcement officers were immediately contacted and found a 20 gauge shotgun in a vehicle.  The unloaded shotgun was immediately confiscated and police officers arrested the student.  The student indicated that the weapon was not going to be used at school.  We will continue to take every measure to ensure the safety of our students.  It is important for parents take a moment to remind their children about the importance of being alert and reporting any suspicious behavior, activities, or rumors to an adult on campus."

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