An 18-year-old honor student in Maryland was sentenced to four months in prison for bringing a loaded gun to school the day after the massacre in Parkland, Florida.
On Feb. 15, the day after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Alwin Chen brought a loaded handgun to Clarksburg High School in Maryland. Chen told police that he brought the gun to protect himself and his fellow students in case an attack happened at his school.
According to a report from The Washington Post, Chen was taken from an AP psychology class and escorted to an office, where he was asked if he had anything to report in his bag. "A loaded glock," he responded. The gun was apparently made from parts ordered online.
Chen admitted at his trial that he had made a mistake.
“What I did was stupid,” he said. “I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”
When police searched his home they found more weapons, including rifles, ammunition, and a bulletproof vest. This concerned the judge, who said he was troubled by Chen's "fascination with weapons."
Detectives also read a journal written by Chen in which the high school student wrote that he "might start doing vigilante operations" and said "I don't plan on killing people, but I'm surely going to hit evil people."
Through tears, Chen's father publicly thanked the person who reported his son to the police. The judge told Chen's parents that they needed to remove all weapons from their home after this incident.
Chen was sentenced to four months in prison, and five years of probation, with 70 days of "credit" for the time he has been imprisoned since his arrest. He will also have to receive therapy, submit to urine tests, and complete 300 hours of community service.
The Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office agreed with the sentencing. The judge said that he may expunge Chen's record in time, if he focuses on his grades in college.
"Your life is not going to be ruined from this," the judge told him.
Chen has already been accepted into five colleges.
“Obviously, this was a young man that made a very poor decision that broke the law and deserves to be punished, but there is also an opportunity for healing in the community and moving forward in a very positive way,” said Ramon Korionoff from the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, according to Baltimore CBS affiliate WJZ-TV.