CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — An 18-year-old Cleveland High School student has been charged with having a gun on educational property after an unloaded weapon was found in his vehicle, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said.

On Wednesday morning, school administrators contacted the sheriff’s office school resource officer in regards to a disturbance in the school office.

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The officer, who was on campus at the time of the call, responded to the office to find Juelle Amos Thomas, a student, acting abnormally, the sheriff’s office said.

Through the investigation by the SRO, a search was conducted of the student’s vehicle that was parked on campus at the time of the incident. Inside the vehicle, a 9mm handgun along with 9mm ammunition, a fixed blade knife, and drug paraphernalia were found, the sheriff’s office said. These items were seized by law enforcement.

Thomas, of Smithfield, was arrested by deputies and charged with the following:

  • felony gun on educational property;
  • misdemeanor weapon on educational property, and
  • misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Thomas was placed in the Johnston County Jail under a $11,000 secured bond.

Johnson County Schools said the incident was isolated and didn’t disrupt the school’s normal schedule.

The weapon never entered the building, the school system said.

Cleveland High School principal Jenna Sauls Hairr sent the following message out to families shortly after noon Wednesday:

Good Morning,

This is Jenna Sauls Hairr, Principal of Cleveland High. I’m calling to make you aware of an incident that occurred on our campus today, although it did not directly impact our daily operations or student safety.

An unloaded gun was found in a car in our parking lot today. The weapon never came into our building, and no threat was made to our campus or our students.

All students and staff are safe and have been safe throughout the course of the day, and again the gun never came inside the building.

Law enforcement was immediately notified once the weapon was discovered, and it was quickly and appropriately removed from our campus by law enforcement.

We will continue with our normal daily operations for today, but wanted you to be aware that this occurred.

We ask you to remind your students to speak with an adult if they ever see or hear something they are uncomfortable with while they are on our school campus.

Thank you, have a good day.