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New Haven paraprofessional arrested for having gun on school grounds

She was arrested and police seized the gun without incident.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A teaching paraprofessional for a New Haven school was arrested on Friday for carrying a handgun on school property.

At Noon, someone inside the Brennan-Rogers School made a call to the police department after the paraprofessional allegedly told a teacher she brings a gun to school for her own protection.

And once police began the investigation, they noticed the paraprofessional's story changed.

"Initially, she had said that the handgun was in her car and then she did upon exiting the school tell us that it was on her person," said Acting Police Chief Renee Dominguez.

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Police said Sonnetta Powell, 31, of North Haven, was arrested for having a semi-automatic handgun in her possession.

Powell is a legal Connecticut pistol permit holder, police said.

She was arrested and police seized the gun without incident.

Powell was charged with having a weapon on school grounds and breach of peace, and she is being held on a $50,000 bond.

RELATED: 5 students at New Haven magnet school taken to hospital after eating candy

There was never a threat made against anyone, according to the chief. But, Powell allegedly made reference to videos on the Internet showing students with guns.

"And she says 'well you know I bring my gun with me to school' and so that’s what kind of sparked it," said Dominguez, referring to the impetus for the call to police at 12:04 pm Friday.

As for why Powell was carrying a loaded gun in the school, Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools, Dr. Illene Tracey, said "She apparently seemed to have been concerned about how some of the students are behaving and she wanted to protect herself."

Earlier Friday morning in New Haven, five students at Bishop Woods Architecture & Design Magnet School were taken to the hospital after eating candy that contained THC and getting sick from it. Police are investigating.

RELATED: 40 bags of fentanyl found at Hartford school where student overdosed: police

Tony Terzi is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tterzi@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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