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PENDLETON – A parent was removed briefly during Pendleton Heights High School’s graduation Sunday after it was discovered that he had brought a gun to the ceremony.

Pendleton Police Officer Ryan Baker said he was alerted by staff at Pendleton Heights about 4:45 p.m. Sunday that a person in the gym, where commencement was being conducted, had a firearm at his side.

The man was removed for questioning by officers, and the gun was taken from him.

“He was a parent of a graduating student,” Baker said. “He was handicapped, and it was an open-carry situation – it wasn’t concealed.”

Baker said the man told him he puts on the firearm every day “like his belt and his clothes.”

“It was an honest mistake,” Baker said. “He was not aware it was a crime to bring a firearm on school grounds or to the school. He was very apologetic.”

After police determined the man posed no threat, the firearm was returned to him following commencement.

The incident remains under investigation, Pendleton police said.

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