Santa Barbara police officers arrested a 17-year-old male Monday afternoon who they believe could be connected to an incident involving a weapon at Santa Barbara High School.

Authorities are investigating the reliability of reports that a male involved in a verbal confrontation was seen with a gun on the campus late last week, police Lt. Paul McCaffrey said.

The teenager, a Lompoc resident, was seen on campus Monday and police were called.

He was charged for a probation violation and had a knife and marijuana in his possession at the time of the arrest, according to McCaffrey, adding that the suspect wasn’t charged in connection with what he may have done at the campus earlier because there are still reliability issues. 

It’s unclear whether the teen is a gang member, but “he’s been kind of on the run,” McCaffrey said.

Heightened security at the high school resulted in more officers nearby Monday, and a quick response led to the arrest near De la Guerra Street, just a block off school property.

“He was thinking about running, but a few officers vectored in on him,” McCaffrey said. “There was not much of an opportunity and he kind of gave up.”

The male will be held in custody at juvenile hall as the investigation continues.

“He had no business even being on the school campus,” McCaffrey said. “It sounds like he’s had some problems before this incident, and he didn’t make things any easier for himself.”

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at

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Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at