This is member-exclusive content
icon/ui/info filled


Teen who brought gun to DeSoto High School is not student in district, officials say

The teen is facing one count of unlawful carry of a weapon in a prohibited place, according to DeSoto police.

A teen was arrested last week after he allegedly brought a gun to a DeSoto ISD school campus that he does not attend, district officials say.

On Thursday, two students at DeSoto High School were in an “altercation” in the hallway, district spokeswoman Tiffanie Blackmon-Jones said in an email.

Students reported the incident to campus security officers, who were able to “de-escalate the altercation,” Blackmon-Jones said. The campus was put on “lockdown.”

Crime in The News

Read the crime and public safety news your neighbors are talking about.

Or with:

“As security personnel and campus officers cleared hallways and detained the involved students, security identified a person of interest who was a 17-year-old male that was not a student of DeSoto ISD,” Blackmon-Jones said.

During a search of the teen, who was being held in an “enclosed office space,” authorities found a gun, Blackmon-Jones said.


The teen arrested by DeSoto police has been identified as 17-year-old Semaj Burnett, according to authorities. He is facing a count of unlawful carry of a weapon in a prohibited place, DeSoto police said. As of Monday evening, it was unclear whether Burnett had an attorney.

The teen was “let into” the campus by a student at the high school through “a side entrance” prior to the lockdown, Blackmon-Jones said, adding that Burnett was able to “blend in” with the other students because it was a “non-uniform, free dress day” at the high school.

District officials have not been able to confirm which school district Burnett attends, and “the district has not reached out to notify any other school entity of this matter,” Blackmon-Jones said.


The student who allowed the teen into the school “also received disciplinary action,” she said.

In response to the incident, district officials are requiring all students to follow DeSoto ISD’s standard uniform-based dress code for the remainder of the academic year to allow “staff and security personnel to quickly identify persons who do not belong on district campuses,” Blackmon-Jones said.

The last day of the 2023-24 academic year is scheduled on May 30 for students, according to the district’s website.

DeSoto ISD’s district dress policy does not allow students in grades six through 12 to have backpacks during the last two weeks of school, Blackmon-Jones said. The district will also “transition” to requiring clear backpacks for students in the next academic year, she added.

Related Stories
View More