14-Year-Old Indian Trails Middle School Student Arrested for Threatening Students with a Knife

Photo of the knife that was brought to ITMS middle school

A 14-year-old Indian Trails Middle School (ITMS) student was arrested early Friday morning after pulling a knife on students and staff.

At approximately 7:45 am on October 27, 2023, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Community Policing Division deputies responded to assist the School Resource Deputy at ITMS. Prior to the start of school, two juvenile females engaged in a physical altercation which was broken up by school staff. Following the altercation, 14-year-old Justin Gillespie removed a knife from his backpack and raised it above his head in a threatening manner towards other students present. Gillespie was quickly and safely taken into custody and no injuries were reported.

Photo of the knife that was brought to ITMS middle school
Knife that was brought to the middle school by Gillespie

Gillespie was arrested for Aggravated Assault and Exhibition of a Weapon on School Grounds.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy in Flagler County,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “Bringing any weapon to school violates the zero-tolerance policy and you will be arrested. I remind parents, again, to be the Sheriff in your home and to teach your children that violence is never the right answer and to be smart about their actions at school. If necessary, search your kid’s backpacks when they leave for school. Do your part as a parent to teach your kids and help keep our schools safe.”

Regarding the incident, Flagler Schools Superintendent LaShakia Moore says, “First, I want to commend the staff at ITMS for their quick actions in diffusing the situation so that no one was injured. Second, it’s important for our students and families to understand that bringing any type of weapon onto one of our campuses will not be tolerated. Parents entrust us with providing a safe and secure learning environment, and that is a responsibility we do not take lightly. Finally, I want to thank our School Resource Deputies for their collaboration with our school administrators and deans while investigating this incident. The majority of students who come to school every day make choices to abide by the rules. We will not let the actions of a few undermine the overall goal of educating our students.”

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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