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Former Student Brings Gun Into High School Downstate

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports
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(Credit: Adam Jan/AFP/Getty Images)

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PRINCETON, Ill. (CBS) — There is increased security today at Princeton High School, in Bureau County about 120 miles southwest of Chicago, after a former student brought a gun to school on Wednesday.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, Blake R. Schmidt, 18, who was suspended earlier this year, entered the high school at about 2:45 p.m. with a loaded shotgun, according to Princeton Police Chief Thomas Rook.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

“Most of the students had already let out. There was no lockdown, because the school already had ended for the day,” Rook said.

Schmidt was enrolled at the beginning of the school year, but since his suspension, he is no longer at the school, Rook said.

Rook says Schmidt walked passed some classrooms and stopped.

“The subject appeared to be highly distraught and very emotional,” he said.

After about an hour of negotiating with police, Rook says Schmidt gave up his weapon and himself without anyone getting hurt.

He was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, and charges are pending.

In addition to stepped-up security for the next few days, the school will make a crisis team available to students.

Rook says police had encountered Schmidt before, but it was for traffic and other minor violations.

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