Armed Omaha North High School student arrested after altercation

An armed student was taken into custody Thursday after bringing a gun to school and attempting to flee the scene.
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 12:44 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The principal of Omaha North High School said an armed student was taken into police custody following an altercation at the school.

Police were called to Omaha North High School on Thursday after a report of a student with a gun.

Omaha Police confirmed Thursday afternoon that they had arrested a 17-year-old boy, confirming that the student resource officer has radioed for help after intervening in an altercation involving two students. One of the students then fled the school, and the SRO pursued them and took them into custody.

“At that time, law enforcement confirmed the individual had a gun in their possession,” according to a letter from Dr. Collette Nero, principal of the high school, that was sent to staff and student families.

The student will be booked into the Douglas County Youth Center on a felony charge of possession of a firearm on school grounds.

OPD responded to the school, located near 36th and Ames street, at about 12:15 p.m. 6 News saw a heavy police presence around the school not long after.

A neighbor described to 6 News the scene she saw a few minutes earlier:

“...I saw a police officer had the street blocked off, where I couldn’t turn up on the street to get to my home, here. And there was one officer that was ‘on,’ right by the house on the corner,” Dorothy McCloud said. “He had his gun drawn, but he had it pointed at the ground; had the gun in his hands and my granddaughter was with me and I was telling her, ‘Do you see that? He’s got a gun in his hand.’”

She said her grandson goes to North High and usually calls to let her know if something’s happening at school. OPS sends out notices as well, she said.

“We want to make you aware of a situation that occurred today. An altercation occurred between two students. Our staff and SRO intervened immediately. During the investigation, a student involved left the building. Our SRO followed and took the student into custody. At that time, law enforcement confirmed the individual had a gun in their possession.

We take these matters very seriously. We are working with our District Safety Office, law enforcement partners and our on-site security team to ensure the safety of our school environment. We continue to work with the family of the student involved and will take appropriate disciplinary action.

We are sharing this message to ensure open communication with our families. The safety of students and staff is our top priority. We appreciate your continued help guiding students to use good judgment in their actions for their safety and the safety of others.”

Excerpt from letter sent by Dr. Collette L. Nero, North High Principal

When 6 News spoke with her on her front porch shortly after the incident, McCloud said she hadn’t yet been notified about what might have happened.

McCloud said she’s lived in the neighborhood for the last 13 years and had never seen so many police in the area. She said she saw several police cars lined up on the side street adjacent to her home.

Have a tip?

OPD encourages anyone with information about school threats or weapons at schools to call the Safe2Help Hotline at 833-980-7233 or submit a tip online at Safe2HelpNE.org.

Digital Director Gina Dvorak, Anchor Jacqueline Fernandez, and Reporter John Chapman contributed to this report.