Student charged after loaded gun found in backpack at VBHS


VERO BEACH — A Vero Beach High School student was arrested after a school resource deputy found a loaded Glock .380-caliber firearm in his bookbag Monday morning, sheriff’s officials said. The incident led to an increase of security at the 2,900-student campus, said Cristen Maddux, spokesperson for the School District of Indian River County.

“Prior to the start of classes this morning, several students were found in the restroom. Suspected of vaping, VBHS admin brought the students to the office and searched their bags,” Maddux said in a statement. “Upon searching, our school resource deputy found a handgun in a student’s bag.”

It was unknown how the student obtained the gun, sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Kevin Jaworski said.

Martrez Antonio Barnes, 18, of the 4000 block of 45th Lane, Gifford, was charged with possession of a firearm on school property, jail records show. Barnes was held Monday at the Indian River County Jail without bond.

Barnes will not be returning to the campus, school officials said. Maddux said there is an expulsion process that hasn’t taken place yet.

“We are thankful for our school admin law enforcement officers for their vigilance and working quickly to immediately handle the incident,” Maddux said. “Due to their work, there were no disruptions to our school day and our schedule will continue as normal. As always, please use the Fortify Florida app to report any suspicious activity.”


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