2 teens arrested trying to bring gun, knife into high schools

This post has been updated.

In separate incidents Wednesday, police arrested two teens for attempting to bring weapons -- in one case, a gun and in another, a knife -- into their high schools.

Police discovered a .38-caliber handgun in 18-year-old Shaheed Whack's bookbag when he went through the metal-detector at Fels High School's entrance on Langdon Street near Howell in Crescentville around 7:30 a.m., police said. When cops tried to apprehend him, he sprinted away, but officers caught him on Sanger Street near Langdon, about a block away.

No one was injured. Police recovered the firearm.

Whack is charged with violation of the Uniform Firearms Act, carrying a weapon on school property and related offenses.

School district spokesman Fernando Gallard said the student, a senior, was immediately suspended and referred for expulsion. He said he couldn't comment on any prior disciplinary record the student might have had.

"This incident demonstrates two things. One, there are too many guns out there that seem to be easily accessible to even students," Gallard said. "The other thing it demonstrates is that our security process is working, and our school police officers are making a difference out there and making sure these weapons don't get into our schools."

Gallard said investigators aren't yet sure of the student's intent.

"Presumably someone who puts a bag in an x-ray machine knows that anything made of metal will be shown," Gallard said, adding that that suggests the student had no intent to use the gun in school but rather stored it in his bookbag and went to school forgetting it was in there.

In another school in the city's Fairhill section Tuesday, police said, 18-year-old student Anthony Parker-Pitts, of Percy Street near Clearfield, was arrested after trying to bring a knife into the Fairhill Community High School on 4th Street near Somerset.

Parker-Pitts is charged with bringing a weapon into a school.