HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One student's mistake has ruined his school year. The 8th grader arrested after a shooting at Highlands Intermediate School on Monday has been expelled, according to his family. Jason Takayesu said his son found the gun on Friday behind the school gym, but didn't pick the weapon up until Monday morning. The 14-year-old student told his father that he was showing the firearm to some friends when one of them pushed it away, and that is when the weapon discharged. The bullet hit a wall, ricocheted, then broke into pieces that struck another student, according to police.
"Every incident like this is a learning opportunity for all kinds of people, including the Department of Education," said DOE assistant superintendent Randy Moore.
The school sent a letter home with students about the incident. Some parents wondered why the campus didn't go into lockdown.
"This happened well before school started, so the purpose of a lockdown is to keep students safe in their classrooms when there's a threat on campus. In this case, students aren't in their classrooms," explained Moore.
Police said the Glock 45-caliber, semi-automatic pistol was not reported stolen. Sources said the owner told officers that the gun, along with another firearm, had been missing since before Christmas. Investigators are still trying to confirm that information.
"The responsibility of the gun owner is that it should be locked and secured so that no one can obtain it. Second, kids need to know if they do find a firearm, immediately tell an adult. Don't take it. Don't touch it," said Brian Takaba of Magnum Firearms.
Takayesu apologized for his son's poor judgement and said the teenager was shaken when he realized what could have happened.
"We will certainly see reviews, not only at Highlands Intermediate, but this is an opportunity for all schools to say, 'It could have happened to us. How would we respond?'" said Moore.
Police released the student to his parents after he was arrested for attempted murder. Takayesu said his son will have to attend an alternative school in the fall.
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