Student in custody after gun found at Central High School

A Central High School student was taken into custody after a gun was found in his backpack on Tuesday afternoon, according to St. Paul Police Department.

Just after noon on Tuesday, officers responded to Central High School after St. Paul Public School Security reported they had a student detained after they found a gun in his backpack.

According to authorities, the 16-year-old student and his backpack containing the 9mm handgun were turned over to police.

Security officers stated that while talking with the student he appeared to distance himself from his backpack. The officers then investigated, found the gun and called for police to respond.

Police say that the the student was brought to the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center and booked for possession of a firearm by an ineligible person, possession of a firearm with no serial number and possession of a firearm on school property.

Central High School Principal Cherise Ayers issued the following statement regarding the incident:

Dear Central High School Families,

I’m writing to make you aware of a situation that happened at school today. During a search of a student’s backpack, we recovered a gun. No threats were made and no one was injured.

Administration and our on-site security staff quickly responded and followed our safety procedures, contacted the SPPS Security and Emergency Management team and the Saint Paul Police Department for support. No one was in immediate danger.

There are serious consequences for students who bring weapons to school. We will follow our discipline procedures as outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.

As the leader of this building, I can’t stress enough for all members of our Central community to say something if you see or hear any safety concerns. If you have any weapons in your home, make sure they are safely stored and not accessible. All reports or tips are investigated.

Students are often aware of situations before adults, so please remind your child that it is important for them to immediately report concerns to a trusted adult. This helps us take quick action to ensure the safety of all students. Concerns may also be submitted on the Tipline on the MySPPS app or online at

We recognize that hearing this news may be unsettling for our students. Our school counselors and social workers are available to students who may need to talk about today’s situation in the days ahead.

I am grateful that this situation was handled quickly and safely. If you have any questions or other concerns about school, please call me at 651-744-4900. Thank you for your partnership and support of Central High School and Saint Paul Public Schools.

In Partnership T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R.,

Cherise Ayers
Central High School Principal