A Canyon Ridge High School student has been arrested after bringing a handgun onto campus.

Members of the Hesperia Unified School District school police arrested the 17-year-old around 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, February 4, after a student had tipped off school staff that a student had a handgun on the bus earlier in the day.

"From the time we actually got the tip to the time we actually apprehended the kid was probably nine minutes," said Principal Bill Pittsford. "We had a great police response. The police were probably here in three minutes."

"We went into the classroom, pulled the kid out," said Sgt. Cindy McCarter. "I searched his backpack, which is where I found the weapon."

The pistol was loaded at the time McCarter discovered it.

"There wasn't one in the chamber, but there was one in the clip," she said, "So all he had to do was pull the slide back and it would be loaded."

"This is a relatively new kid from out of the area, and they do different things in different areas," Pittsford said. The student had not previously been a discipline problem during his short time at Canyon Ridge, according to his principal.

McCarter described the teen as cooperative once he was in custody.

"He said he was trying to get rid of the gun, which is why he had it with him," she said. The suspect invoked his right to remain silent following this admission, according to McCarter, and HUSD police got nothing more from him after this point.

"I know that he used to bang down in LA, but I don't know if he's still a gang member," she said. "I think he's too new of a transfer up here to know that."

The student has been booked at juvenile hall in Apple Valley for possession of a loaded firearm on a school campus and an additional charge for possession of a gun with the serial numbers filed off.

A note discussing the incident was sent home with Canyon Ridge students on Wednesday.

The incident occurred just after newly elected school board member Chris Bentley, who has been touring HUSD schools, had left campus to visit Summit Leadership Academy next door.

"It was a fluke, because sunshine and roses follow me wherever I go," Bentley said. "I was walking back to the parking lot and saw our two police cars there."

Bentley headed into the school's office to see what was going on and saw first-hand how the HUSD police handled the incident.

"All the kids were contained in other classrooms," he said. "They're well-trained and they do their jobs very well."

"I was glad that he was there," McCarter said. "It was nice, so he can see what we do."

Canyon Ridge is the Hesperia Unified School District's second continuation school, temporarily opening on the campus of Hesperia High School in 2007 before moving to its permanent home on Muscatel Street. The school aims to help students 16 years or older who are at least a semester behind in credits get back on academic track.

Wednesday's incident is the first time that a gun has been discovered on a HUSD campus since the 2007-2008 school year. In August 2007, a teenager was arrested for bringing a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol onto the Sultana High School campus -- the teen was not a student himself, but was there to pick up a sibling after school.

It's not the first time a gun has been near a HUSD school this year, however: In late October, two boys were arrested after firing a pistol in a field adjacent to Sultana High School and Lime Street Elementary School.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.