BOSTON (WHDH) - An East Boston charter school student is facing criminal charges after a loaded gun was found in his backpack on Wednesday, police said.

A staff member at the Excel Academy – Greenway found the Highpoint 9mm firearm with two rounds of ammunition in the magazine while searching the student’s bag in response to the sale of vape products on school property, according to the Boston Police Department.

The student was detained by staff and the firearm was secured before officers arrived around 3:20 p.m., police said.

The male juvenile was taken into custody on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm on school property, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

He is expected to be arraigned in Chelsea District Court.

Students say the school went into a temporary lockdown before they were dismissed.

“It was kinda shocking because nothing bad ever happens to this school,” sixth-grader Victoria Vargas said. “It was in the high school that we found out, so we had to get in fast. Some people didn’t know what was happening and then we found out there was a gun.”

An investigation remains ongoing.

This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS for updates online and on-air.

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