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Morgan Township student arrested after firearm, ammo found in car

Ryan Gaddis 18 is being held Porter County Jail charge possessifirearm school property Class D felony. | Provided

Ryan Gaddis, 18, is being held in the Porter County Jail on a charge of possession of a firearm on school property, a Class D felony. | Provided

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Updated: April 2, 2014 6:12AM



VALPARAISO — A Morgan Township High School student who had a rifle/shotgun in his car parked in the school lot told police he had it for his own protection.

Also in the trunk: 140 rounds of ammunition and other weaponry, police said.

Ryan Gaddis, 18, is being held in the Porter County Jail on a charge of possession of a firearm on school property, a Class D felony.

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Rod Gardin said a student told administrators a fellow student might have a firearm in his vehicle.

“We are thankful to the student who provided the information this morning and to our administrators who quickly responded to the situation to maintain the safety of our students and staff,” Gardin wrote.

Sgt. Dale Marshall of the Kouts Police Department, who is school resource officer for the East Porter County School Corp., was contacted by the high school administration at 9 a.m. Friday, according to Kouts Police Chief Jim Smith.

Gaddis admitted he had an unloaded firearm locked in the trunk of his vehicle, according to Gardin’s letter. Gaddis said he had meant to leave the weapon at a relative’s home before coming to school.

“The student did not bring the firearm into the school and did not have any weapons on his person,” Gardin wrote, adding Gaddis said he did not intend to harm any students or staff members.

In addition to the 410/22 rifle/shotgun and the ammunition, Gaddis also had a bandolier, a hunting knife, a baton, and night-vision goggles in his vehicle, Smith said.

Gaddis was arrested without incident and taken to the jail. Under Indiana law, a student in possession of any type of firearm on school property must be expelled for at least one calendar year, Gardin said in his letter.

“This is the second time in the four years I’ve been around that we’ve had something like this,” Smith said, adding the other incident was a Kouts High School student who brought an unloaded gun to school.



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