A Waco High School student was arrested after a vice principal found marijuana and a handgun in a car the student was driving Tuesday morning, authorities said.

Dantawn Kensha Richardson, 17, was arrested on a third-degree felony charge of possession of a weapon in a prohibited location and a Class A misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.

A security guard spotted Richardson returning to campus shortly after 9:30 a.m. and reported Richardson was “acting suspiciously,” said Kyle DeBeer, Waco Independent School District chief of staff. The security guard stopped Richardson and spoke with him while an assistant principal also came to talk to him, DeBeer said.

The school administrator searched Richardson’s car and found less than 2 ounces of marijuana and a handgun in a backpack Richardson had in his car, DeBeer said.

Waco ISD police later arrested Richardson and took him to McLennan County Jail. He was released by Wednesday afternoon on $6,000 bond.

Waco High School Principal James Stewart sent an email Tuesday afternoon about the incident.

“The student has been taken into custody by law enforcement and will face criminal charges,” Stewart wrote. “The school will also undertake a separate disciplinary process. While privacy laws prevent me from sharing additional information about the campus disciplinary process, I want you to know that we take this incident very seriously and will respond accordingly.”

DeBeer said school administrators have no reason to believe the gun was taken into the school.

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Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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