School resource officer arrests man with gun inside Collierville High School

School resource officer arrests man with gun inside Collierville High School
Matthew French (Source: Collierville Police Department)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A 22-year-old man with a gun and knife in his backpack was arrested Tuesday after making his way into Collierville High School.

The man showed up on a bicycle around 10 a.m. and asked to speak with a teacher in the front office, according to Collierville Schools Chief of Staff Jeff Jones. The school denied him entry, but soon after a student reported being approached by a stranger who asked for the easiest point of entry to the school.

Jones says staff alerted school resource officers who began searching for the man. Around 11 a.m. the man knocked on a side door, which a student opened.

SROs took the man into custody moments later, according to Jones. A search of the man’s backpack revealed an unloaded pistol, a knife, seven loose bullets, several vaping pens, a flask of alcohol and a small amount of marijuana.

Collierville police arrested the man and took him to police headquarters. He has since been identified as Matthew French.

According to police, French said he was there to meet up with friends and give them alcohol.

French is facing charges for trespassing, weapons possession on school property, alcohol possession on school property, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jones says Collierville Schools has since reminded students not to open doors for anyone outside of the school building.

“Collierville Schools wishes to express appreciation to both our dedicated school resource officers and the student who felt comfortable sharing his concerns about the stranger with a school employee,” Jones writes in a statement.

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