Pasco High student, 18, charged with bringing AR-15 to campus

By Sarah Blazonis, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018, 6:02 PM EST

Dade City police arrested an 18-year-old Pasco High student Friday morning and charged him with bringing a weapon to school. 

  • Pasco High student, 18, charged with bringing AR-15 to campus 
  • Dade City police said Dillon Nathanial Xynides had weapon in case in truck
  • Xynides charged with possession of a weapon on school property 

Officials said Dillon Nathanial Xynides of San Antonio brought a Del-Ton AR-15 to campus. 

“The fact that someone didn’t think that it was a problem to bring an AR-15 to campus, especially after what happened in Broward County last week, blows my mind,” said Pasco County Schools Public Information Officer Linda Cobbe.

The firearm was found in the student's truck by an administrator who was walking the parking lot. The staff member saw shotgun shells in the bed of the truck and after looking into the passenger compartment, saw a gun case on the seat.  

After school officials made contact with Xynides,  they opened the case and found the weapon, along with two boxes of ammunition and a knife.

The district and police said the student never made any threats against the school, and the district told parents in a call Friday that the student bought the gun the night before for hunting.

Still, students said hearing the rumors of what had happened was concerning.

“First, there was somebody saying there was a knife, and now it’s a gun. It’s kind of crazy,” said Pasco High senior Autumn Roe, 14.

“I mean, I was scared. I didn’t feel safe, so I called my dad,” said sophomore Delilah Samelton, 16.

Hearing news of what happened also worried parents.

“My heart sank. I mean, that’s my baby,” said Christina Heffner, Roe’s mother.

“It’s called common sense. That’s what it’s called. Apparently, some of us don’t have it,” said Jonathan Samelton, Delilah's father.

Dade City Police note that by all accounts, Xynides is described as a “very good young man” who has no prior discipline problems and has been cooperative with investigators. He did post a video of the firearm on Snapchat Thursday night, but there were no threats made, and the school was never placed on lockdown.

Xynides was charged with possession of a weapon on school property, a third-degree felony.  

Meanwhile, Pasco County Schools sent a phone message and social media alert about the incident.

"We take the matters of school safety very seriously and feel  a great obligation to establish and maintain a safe learning environment for all students and staff in our schools," said Acting Dade City Police Chief James Walters. "We will not take any less chance in protecting the students in our schools than we would if they were our own children."