By Gary Nelson

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HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) — Two teenagers are facing criminal charges after a gun scare at a South Florida high school.

Police called it a case of “see something, say something” as several students saw a classmate stash a gun in a trashcan and alerted the authorities.

An alert was first sent out Thursday at South Dade Senior High School, at 28401 S.W. 167th Avenue, after a teacher found an unused bullet on the classroom floor. Within minutes, school police and security were scouring the building.

Police said students also saw James Martin, 18, toss a jacket into the trash bin. Inside the jacket was a handgun and pocket full of ammunition.

Martin was covering for Lionel Jean-Pierre, 19, who allegedly brought the gun to school. Martin’s mother doesn’t believe her son had anything to do with it.

“My son did not even have the gun at all,” said Meco Hawkins. “My son did not even have the gun ’cause I did talk to kids before I got here. My son did not even have the gun. They found a bullet on the floor. They found the gun in someone else’s book bag.”

Other parents were shocked.

“We need better security,” said Tony Martino. “There’s a reason why it’s going on so they gotta figure it out.”

Better security may have prevented something much worse. Police happened to be conducting random metal detector sweeps for weapons. They think the two suspects dumped the gun to avoid it being detected in the sweep.

The pair has been charged with having a gun on campus, which is a felony crime that can mean serving hard time in prison. James Martin had a hearing scheduled for Friday for an unrelated cocaine case.

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