Houston School Evacuated, Student Arrested After Zip Gun Found

Tuesday, 14 Jan 2014 12:03 PM

By Michael Mullins

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A Houston-area school was evacuated Monday after a zip gun was found inside a school building.

The Seven Lakes High School building was cleared after authorities secured the device and arrested one student, CNN reported.

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An explosive device was also reportedly found inside a backpack at the school, prompting the FBI to send bomb technicians to assist county bomb squad Agent Shauna Dunlap, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Houston told CNN. The bomb-scare report that initially circulated among several local and national media outlets was never confirmed by authorities at the scene.

The student to whom the zip gun allegedly belonged was identified as Thomas Scott Barfield.

Following his arrest, police searched the suspect's vehicle, where they reportedly found another weapon inside the trunk of the car.

Senior Josh Rubin, who knew Barfield, described his peer to Khou.com.

"He was kinda a pyrotechnic if you know what that is," fellow student Josh Rubin, who knew Barfield, told Khou.com.

"He liked to make things with fire and all that," Rubin added. "He is honestly a nice person if you just talk to him, but he would be a person I would expect would do something like this."

Zip guns are improvised firearms that generally consist of a small pipe through which a projectile can be propelled.

Police did not release any information as to how Barfield was tied to the zip gun, nor any details as to what type of weapon they reportedly recovered from his vehicle in the school parking lot.

After being dismissed at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, classes resumed Tuesday morning as regularly scheduled.

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