A 14-year-old student who was packing a soldering iron that resembled a handgun was arrested Thursday at Carver Middle School in Leesburg.
Zekell A. Lindsay was taken into custody after the school’s resource officer, who is a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy, was alerted to a student possibly having a gun in the school’s cafeteria. Another student had texted her mother, who works at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, about the incident, a sheriff’s office report states.
The deputy spoke with the girl, who said that another student claimed to have seen the gun. She said she was told that Lindsay had lifted his shirt and showed a black handle while threatening the other student after they had a verbal confrontation. She said she was scared so she contacted her mother, the report says.
The other student said he asked Lindsay why he was so happy during one period and sad the next. He said Lindsay answered with, “Say another word,” so the student said, “Another word.” The student said Lindsay then lifted his gray sweater and showed him a black-and-silver handle, which he believed was a gun. He said he thought it best not to tell anyone because Lindsay “would harm him,” the report says.
Another student said Lindsay had commented on Wednesday that he was mad at a teacher who was “messing with him,” so he was going to bring a gun to school. He said Lindsay referred to the gun as a “Glock” and he didn’t report the conversation to anyone, the report says.
A student who was at lunch with Lindsay said he made the comment, “Take the shot.” He said Lindsay talked about different people’s clothing and on Thursday it included a pink shirt, which was referring to the principal’s pink sweater, the report says, adding that all of the witnesses were in fear for their lives and retaliation by Lindsay.
The deputy then spoke with Lindsay, who said he didn’t have anything on him. But while searching him, the deputy noticed a heavy item at the bottom of his gray sweatpants, which he thought was a firearm. Lindsay was secured and then said the item was a power tool. A short time later, the deputy located the black Weller soldering gun, which Lindsay claimed belonged to his stepfather.
Lindsay admitted that he was going to “prank” his friends after school. He also admitted to making comments about bringing a Glock to school because of a negative comment a teacher made about how he smelled. He said he also made the comment, “Take the shot,” and was referring to different teachers and students to shoot them, the report says.
Lindsay told the deputy that it was a “stupid” decision to bring the soldering iron to school. He was then taken into custody and is facing charges of assault and a false report concerning the use of a firearm. His parents were called to the school and made aware of the incident. And Lindsay was placed on suspension, the report says.