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Armed Tampa High School Student Arrested


On September 1, 2023, Tampa Police arrested 16-year-old Sirius Jones after officers located a stolen 9-millimeter firearm (loaded) and more than 20 rounds of ammunition in the student’s backpack. 

Hillsborough High School faculty received a tip about a student vaping in one of the restrooms. The faculty identified the exact location and escorted Jones to the office. Upon knowledge that his backpack would be searched, Jones contacted another student who came to get the backpack and remove it from Jones’ possession.

The assigned School Resource Officer (SRO) was able to locate the other student and Jones’ backpack. Upon a search of the backpack, the SRO located the loaded 9-millimeter firearm and more than 20 rounds of ammunition.

Prior to the discovery, there was no indication that there was an armed subject on the school’s campus. While this remains an active investigation, currently nothing suggests the student had the intention to harm anyone on the campus using the stolen firearm.

“Back in June, we made it very clear that a juvenile who illegally possesses a firearm will face serious consequences,” said Chief Lee Bercaw. “We’re fortunate that no one was hurt, but let this be a stark reminder for students who think bringing a firearm onto the school’s campus is a good idea- it’s not and there are adult consequences as a result of adult decisions.”

Jones was transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) and charged with three felonies (F) and one misdemeanor (M): Illegal Possession of Stolen Property (F), Illegal Possession of a Firearm on School Campus (F), Defacing a Firearm (F), and Obstruction with an Investigation (M).