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Police: Handgun, ski mask found on Berkmar student

LILBURN -- School officials found a handgun and ski mask on a Berkmar High School student at the Lilburn school's campus this week, authorities said.

Officials found a 9mm and the mask in a school book bag belonging to Zelalem Workeneh, a 17-year-old sophomore, according to his arrest warrants.

Workeneh was arrested Thursday morning without incident.

In a letter to parents, Berkmar principal Ken Johnson specified the weapon was unloaded and that Workeneh had made no threats nor expressed any intent to use it at school.

Administrators and a school resource officer were tipped off that Workeneh might be carrying a weapon, the letter says. He'll face disciplinary action in addition to criminal charges, Johnson wrote.

"We take a very strong stance in providing a safe learning environment," Johnson wrote.

Police have charged Workeneh with possession of a weapon on school property, and possession of a firearm by a minor.

Workeneh was recently charged in a separate, pending case.

Records show he was arrested at school in February on aggravated battery charges stemming from an altercation at Club Drive Park. Two other students and a recent Berkmar graduate were also involved, according to a police report.

Workeneh was released from jail March 9 after a judge bound those charges to Gwinnett Superior Court for indictment.

Workeneh remains in jail without bond. He's scheduled to appear in a probable cause hearing Tuesday in Gwinnett Magistrate Court.