A Maryland teen reportedly told cops he took a firearm to school for protection from mass shooters, according to court documents. Montgomery County Police arrested 18-year-old high school student Alwin Chen on Feb. 15 and charged him with bringing a loaded gun to Clarksburg High School outside Washington. According to prosecutors, Chen told police that he routinely attended the school with a loaded gun concealed on his person because he was afraid of a mass shooting incident. According to the Washington Post, prosecutors called Chen a public risk, citing among other things his ability to build a gun from parts he bought on the internet, and asked a judge that he not be granted bond. Chen was arrested following a student tip a day after the massacre in Parkland, Florida, left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Per Fox DC, Chen is an honors student whose fellow runners on the cross country team said he likely did not come to school armed with the intention to harm others. Clarksburg High School principal Edward Owusu also appeared to come to Chen's defense after the incident, telling the Fox affiliate that Chen was a good student whose decision to arm himself was "a mistake." Attorneys for Chen have asked for a new bond hearing and say their client poses no public risk. Meanwhile, a filing from the prosecution pointed to a 2017 entry in Chen's journal in which he reportedly said he "might start doing some vigilante operations" in order "to hit evil people."