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Start High School officer credited with protecting students during gun incident

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He's being lauded for protecting nearly 15-hundred students'. A student with a gun inside Start High School forced staff to think fast to make sure the kids stayed safe.

13abc's Christina Williams talks with the officer responsible for taking down the student who brought in a loaded gun. It's a story you see only on 13abc.

Heavy police presence is how students and staff at Start High School spent Monday after getting a tip that a student had a gun.

Toledo Police Officer Abe Cruz works at Start High School. After getting the tip, he immediately started searching the suspect's locker, his classroom and then the cafeteria.

With more than 500 students eating lunch, he needed to act fast.

"I had no choice but to grab the kid and subdue him," says Officer Cruz.

Officer Cruz pulled out his weapon, took the student to the ground, located the gun and arrested the teen, Willie Carter III. Cruz says his mission was protecting the students and staff.

In fact, just last week Officer Cruz went through active shooter training-learning what to do if a gun was inside of the school.

"During the training we had to locate the shooter and it's ironic because that was just like yesterday," says Cruz.

In a matter of minutes, the situation was under control. Some parents are crediting Officer Cruz for stopping what could've been a dangerous situation.

"All he has to do is reach back, pull it out and we have another school shooting," says Tom Miller a parent of a senior.

Miller's son was in the cafeteria during the arrest and he says without Cruz in the building the situation could've been much worse.

"He's been nothing but awesome, the way he handled it was incredible," says Miller.

Cruz says it's part of the job and credits the staff and students at Start for keeping calm during a chaotic situation.

"I want to let parents know kids are in good hands at start high school," says Cruz.

Toledo Public has not made an official changes to security in the wake of yesterday's incident. A spokesperson for the district says it will review its current policies, which is standard practice anytime an incident occurs.

As for the student, Willie Carter III, he's locked up in the Lucas County Jail facing multiple charges.

Officers say they found a gun and 7 bags of marijuana on the student.
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