On Wednesday, January 24, 2018, PCSO School Resource deputies arrested 16-year-old Terrika Nichole Whitfield (DOB 1/5/02), a freshman at Tenoroc High School in unincorporated Lakeland, and charged her with:
- possession of a firearm by a juvenile delinquent (F-2)
- possession of a weapon on school grounds (F-2)
- possession of a concealed firearm (F-3)
- possession of a firearm with an altered/removed serial number (M-1)
- disruption of a school function (M-2)
- resisting arrest (M-1)
- VOP (M-2)
According to the affidavit, Whitfield was seen by students with a gun tucked into her waistband. Some students reported it to school administration staff, who immediately reported it to the School Resource Deputy. The deputy responded to Whitfield’s classroom and searched her – the gun was not on her at that time. When asked, Whitfield told the deputy she did not have a backpack. The teacher then pointed out Whitfield’s backpack to the deputy. A 9 mm handgun was found within the backpack, with one round in the magazine, and one round in the chamber. The serial number was scratched off of the gun.
At the time the gun was found, Whitfield became aggressive, cursing and yelling at everyone. She was taken into custody and transported to the JAC.
She’s currently on probation for battery on a LEO and assault.
Whitfield’s criminal history includes prior arrests for: battery, battery on LEO, battery on education employee, petit theft, possession of marijuana & paraphernalia, VOP.
“The school staff and our school resource deputy did an outstanding job quickly locating and confiscating the weapon. Given the seriousness of this student’s criminal history and current charges, we are going to do everything we can to make sure the criminal justice system holds her accountable.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff
The following statement was issued by the Polk County School Superintendent:
“We thank Tenoroc High’s students, staff and school resource deputy for acting quickly when reports surfaced of a weapon on campus. Through their efforts, the firearm was recovered before anyone could be threatened or injured. We will continue to cooperate with our partners in law enforcement to ensure our schools are safe places for learning.” – Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd