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TAMPA, Florida -- Tampa police say a 10th grade Middleton High School student brought a loaded gun to school.

Eric Fipps, 16, reportedly told police he needed the weapon for protection in his neighborhood. He showed the gun to a classmate, who texted his father. Police say the classmate's father contacted the school and the school resource officer.

Fipps was pulled from class and the gun was found in his book bag. Police say Fipps claims he found the gun; detectives are currently investigating that claim.

Fipps will be taken to a juvenile assessment center.

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