Newberry High School student arrested after allegedly bringing gun to school


NEWBERRY, Fla. – Dennis L. Hale, 16, was charged with possession of a firearm on school grounds, theft of a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a minor yesterday after the School Resource Deputy (SRD) at Newberry High School reportedly found a stolen firearm in his backpack.

According to Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, school staff notified the SRD that Hale had checked in late and possibly smelled strongly of marijuana. The SRD escorted him to the dean’s office, where the dean informed Hale that she was going to search his belongings based on the marijuana odor, and Hale reportedly said that there was something in his backpack that he shouldn’t have. When asked what that meant, he reportedly said he had a gun, and a loaded .22 caliber handgun was reportedly found in his backpack.

Hale reportedly said he had been given the gun by a friend and had put it in his backpack, then forgotten to take it out; he said he had no intentions of using it at school. The serial number matched a gun that was reported stolen in Alachua County in 2022.

Newberry High School sent out a notification to parents about the incident, saying there was no evidence that the student had shown the gun to other students or removed it from the backpack. The message said that Hale “faces serious consequences from both the school and law enforcement” and asked parents to remind students that no weapons, including pellet or “toy” guns, are permitted on campus.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • Just goes to show how easy it is to obtain a firearm. Also illustrates why the voting age should not be reduced to 16.

    Chances are if he graduates, he’ll be the oldest in his graduating class. Doubtful it will be from an Alachua County school though.

  • How do we fix this problem? There’s probably no parent at home. They got a military type boot camp to send troubled youths like this to?

  • Why do these kids keep doing this? So sad so many youngsters are getting their hands on these guns. I really hope he wasn’t planning on using it. Sometimes I don’t think they think about the consequences when doing something foolish like this and what’s going to happen to them. Let’s support this young man and if he’s going down the wrong road, we need to get him back on track and make him realize this isn’t the road he wants to be on.

  • And look how easy it was for him to walk right into school with a loaded gun in his backpack. Good thing he smoked some weed before he showed up late to school. Otherwise, they would have never known he had a loaded gun. SMDH

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