A Forest Hill High School student was charged as an adult Wednesday for reportedly bringing a loaded gun into a classroom this month.
Terrance McMillian, 17, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on weapon-related charges just hours after a former student shot at least 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
McMillian made his first court appearance at the Palm Beach County Jail on Thursday morning. Judge Dina Keever-Agrama set his bail amount at $755,000 and ordered that he have no contact with the school and no access to weapons.
McMillian, a sophomore at the school off Forest Hill Boulevard, told authorities he had the loaded handgun on him Feb. 2 for protection. Darrell Huggins, McMillian’s stepfather, said after the court hearing that the teen had recently subjected to threats in his community.
“He just had it to protect himself,” Huggins said. “He wasn’t just going around wanting to (hurt) somebody.”
Palm Beach County School District police had taken the teen out of class due to an open probation-violation charge in a curfew case, at the request of West Palm Beach police.
When school police patted him down they found a gun with three bullets inside it, records state. McMillian told police someone shot at him days before, so he needed protection. That shooting, he said, stemmed from unresolved problems in his West Palm neighborhood. City police did not have any record of the alleged shooting.
He was arrested on juvenile charges the morning police found the gun.
Staff writer Julius Whigham II contributed to this story.