17-Year Old Texas Youth Arrested Outside High School With Rifle, 100 Rounds Ammunition

| March 2 , 2018 , 14:50 IST

Averting another possible school shooting, Texas police arrested a 17-year-old youth from outside a high school who was found in his car with drugs, a mask, a semi-automatic rifle and around 100 rounds of ammunition.

The youth, identified as Diego Horta, was being held on a $1 million bond on Thursday after he was arrested from the Rowlett town, 32 km from Dallas on drug and weapons charges. According to reports, Horta will be tried as an adult for the drug charges and for carrying weapons in a no-weapon zone.

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Spokesman for the Rowlett Police Department Officer Cruz Hernandez said that the officer approached the teen during patrols near the Rowlett high school and community centre when 2 events were wrapping up.

“We’re glad that our officer encountered him early,” Hernandez said. “He had the weapon, ammunition and a mask ... Whatever we prevented, the outcome was going to be bad.”

Hernandez added that since the school shooting in Florida on February 14 which led to the death of 17 people, the police department had been exercising added caution.

The youth in custody, Horta, is home-schooled and was not a student in any of the schools participating in the games taking place at the Rowlett High School.

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The officer on duty at the time, Horta’s car as it seemed suspicious and found a semi-automatic rifle lying on the seat next to Horta. The officer took the youth into custody and searched his car, and found more than 4 grams of a hallucinogenic drug, a semi-automatic rifle, and around 100 rounds of ammunition.

Hernandez revealed that after the officers obtained a warrant and searched Horta’s mobile phone they spotted an image containing what appeared to be child pornography that did not seem to be from consensual sexting.

The US has been grappling with shootings taking place at schools, with 19 school shootings already taking place in the year 2018 itself. After the Florida shooting, students, survivors and parents of victims conducted protests demanding stricter gun laws, however, there have been no measurable steps taken.