Teen arrested with gun on school campus has criminal background

A 16-year-old armed with two semiautomatic handguns and arrested on the campus of St. Paul’s Catholic School recently has an extensive criminal background.
Derrick L. Conner, 16, was arrested after he was found on campus at 11 a.m., carrying the guns and wearing a rolled-up knit stocking cap, which, when unrolled, was a full ski mask head cover.
Two staff members at the private school, located at 428 2nd Ave. N., noticed a suspicious subject walking on school property. After making contact with the suspect, staffers noted he was displaying “abnormal behavior” and not acknowledging their presence. School staff then contacted the campus’ off-duty police officer from the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.
When the officer confronted the suspect seconds later, he found the suspect had no reason to be on campus and did a pat-down, finding the weapons and two magazines, neither completely full.
“The kid raised eyebrows. He was young, not in class and not in uniform,” Acting Police Chief Mark Evans said of Conner. Students at St. Paul’s wear uniforms.
“The school did a great job. We practice the plan and all did what needed to be done,” Evans said. “This was a great example of school staff and the Police Department working together to keep the community safe. We would like to reiterate, ‘If you see something, say something.’”
Conner, who gave several fake names April 12 before being identified, is a high school dropout and last attended Raines High two years ago, Evans said.
Police described Conner as a “thug” and said it was unclear why the Westside resident was on the school campus and what his exact target was. His criminal history is sealed as he was previously adjudicated as a delinquent. Past arrests include for grand theft auto, Evans said.
Conner was arrested April 12 and charged with two counts of possession of a firearm on school property; one count of possession of a weapon by a delinquent juvenile; and one count of giving false name to law enforcement.
David Chapman, spokesman for the State Attorney’s Office, said April 16 the case is still under investigation and a determination will be made whether to try Conner as an adult.