Harding High School student admits to bringing loaded gun to school

·1 min read

Nov. 29—A 16-year-old student pleaded guilty to a felony weapons charge last week in juvenile court, one day after he was seen "showing off" a loaded handgun in a Harding High School bathroom.

Eh Lay Ku Htoo pleaded guilty Tuesday to gun possession by a minor, Ramsey County Attorney's Office spokesman Dennis Gerhardstein said.

According to the juvenile petition, a Harding student reported to school officials that someone matching's Htoo's description was "showing off the handgun to another student" in a bathroom around 10:40 a.m. on Nov. 22.

School security staff located Htoo and took him to an isolated area where they found the .357-caliber Glock 31 handgun in a cloth bag inside his backpack. The gun was loaded with 14 rounds of hollow-point bullets.

The school notified police around 12:15 p.m. and officers took Htoo into custody at the Juvenile Detention Center.

St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders said there's nothing in police reports to indicate why Htoo brought the gun to school or whether he threatened anyone.

St. Paul Public Schools spokesman Kevin Burns said "there were no threats made."

Harding had a similar incident in October 2015, when school officials smelled marijuana on a 16-year-old student and found a stolen handgun while searching his backpack. That student reportedly told police he associates with a gang and was carrying the gun to protect himself from other gang members. The school board later voted to expel the student.

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