PALO ALTO, Calif. (KRON) — A student at Palo Alto High School was cited on Friday for allegedly bringing a weapon to school, the Palo Alto Police Department said in a press release. The weapon is believed to be an airsoft gun.

Police dispatch received a call Friday morning that a student posted images of herself holding what was believed to be a handgun on Instagram, and she might have brought the weapon to school in the past. Police responded to the school at 50 Embarcadero Road at approximately 11:28 a.m. on Friday.

A PAPD investigation showed that the student, a 15-year-old girl, had posted two pictures of herself holding what looked like a black handgun. One of the pictures was taken in December 2022. They had since been taken down.

Police said that based on interviews conducted during their investigation, the gun is believed to be an airsoft gun that belonged to a student’s relative. The images were possibly altered to make the airsoft gun look like a handgun.

“It was possible the images had been digitally altered to remove the orange tip, or the orange tip had been removed,” PAPD said.

PAPD was told that the girl had brought the weapon to school about two months ago. She let another student hold it while in the bathroom, police said.

The student was cited for possession of a weapon on a school campus, which is a misdemeanor. She was released to the custody of a family member. Police searched the girl’s home for the gun, but it is believed to be in another state with the person who owns it.

KRON ON is streaming news live now

Students bringing weapons to school has been a problem in the Bay Area in recent months. In Santa Rosa’s Montgomery High School, a student was stabbed to death in May following a fight in a classroom.