Former Chavez HS student's unauthorized visit on campus reveals rifle in backpack, police say

Pooja Lodhia Image
Thursday, May 4, 2023
2 teens charged with bringing gun and ammo to Chavez HS
A teen couple is accused of bringing a gun and 16 rounds of ammo to an HISD high school.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Two teens have been charged after police say they were caught with a gun at Cesar Chavez High School on Friday.

Valerie Rodriguez, 18, and Raphael Ortega, 19, were arrested on April 28 and charged with possessing a prohibited weapon.

Ortega allegedly took a rifle to the school to visit Rodriguez, who is a junior at the school. They met in the school library, according to details from Rodriguez's court appearance.

Ortega then reportedly left the school, and Rodriguez had the backpack with the gun inside. When officials learned Ortega had been there without permission, they asked to search the bag, but Rodriguez refused and later allegedly confessed to there being a gun inside.

Authorities said there were at least 16 rounds of ammunition in the backpack.

Ortega's bond was set to $200,000, and Rodriguez's bond was set at $50,000.

HISD released the following statement to parents regarding the incident:

This is an important message for Chavez High School parents and students from Principal Martinez. Though no students were harmed, I need to make you aware of an incident that occurred on our campus. An intruder was trespassing on our campus. HISD police were immediately notified, and the individual were taken into custody. Among belongings, there was a weapon that was immediately confiscated. Students and staff are safe, and the instructional day continued as normal. As always, safety is at the forefront of what we do each day. It is our top priority. Again, this was an important message for Chavez High School parents and students from Principal Martinez.

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