UPDATED: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 at 3:43 pm,
The student who was arrested last Thursday for possession of a firearm on school property was denied bail by a Montgomery County Judge John C. Moffett Tuesday afternoon.
Alwin Chen, the 18-year-old who as caught by police and school security staff with a loaded handgun at Clarksburg High School on Thursday will remain in jail. Prosecutors told the court that the a search of Chen’s home on Gunners Drive in Germantown turned up more firearms including a AR-15 type rifle, ammunition, grenades, a ballistic vest and list of grievances against students.
During late afternoon on Feb. 20, Montgomery County Police clarified what was found in the Chen home. In a release police said, "There were no explosives recovered in the home. Investigators from the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office examined the inert grenades and clacker and determined them to be replicas."
The release also clarified that "Detectives have reviewed the contents of Chen’s journal. There is no wording regarding any threat nor any expression of wanting to cause harm to anyone at the school in this journal. Chen’s motive for bringing a gun to school remains under investigation.”
According to police, just prior to 2:00 pm on Thursday, Feb. 15, the School Resource Officer assigned to and working at Clarksburg High School, received information that Chen might have brought a gun to school.
According to police, school security, accompanied by School Resource Officer Troy Melott, went to Chen’s classroom. A school security employee entered the classroom and informed Chen that he needed to speak to Chen. The SRO and the employee walked Chen to a school office.
Once inside the school office, the Officer Melott asked Chen if he had a weapon on his person, to which Chen replied that he had a handgun in his book bag and a knife in his front, shirt pocket. At approximately 2:20 pm, the SRO recovered a loaded, 9mm handgun from Chen’s book bag and placed Chen under arrest. The SRO also retrieved the knife from Chen’s pocket.
According to the charging documents, “Chen mentioned that on previous occasions he had felt anxious from social interactions between himself and students.”
Assistant state’s attorney Frank Lozarro told the court that Chen had allegedly brought a gun to school before, though the details of the previous offense were not presented to the court.
“I’m very thankful that someone went to school officials and alerted them,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy told the media outside the courthouse. “I don’t think there’s a possibility of even overreacting to a case like this.”
Defense attorney David Felsen, who is representing Chen, argued that the weapons found in the house were not the high school student’s guns and noted that he was an honor student who had already received college scholarship offers from two universities. He added that Chen had never been in any sort of legal trouble prior to his arrest last week. Felsen also dismissed any question of his client’s mental health in court. “There is not a hint of mental health issues at all,” Felson told the court.
Editors Note: Germantown Pulse updated this story on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 to include the clarification from Montgomery County Police as to the items found in Alwin Chen's house by police during their search.
Photos coutesy MCPD.