CENTER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A Beaver County teenager is facing charges after police say he was spotted with a gun inside of a local mall.

Authorities say someone spotted the 15-year-old male, a student at the Phase Four Learning Center alternative school that is housed inside the Beaver Valley Mall, with a gun around 12:30 p.m. Monday.

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“The call we had received was someone from Phase Four that had observed someone inside the mall, carrying a gun,” said Chief Barry Kramer, of the Center Township Police.

Police working with unarmed mall security, wanting to keep things reasonably calm during the busy lunchtime hour, arrived and identified the student who was wearing a gray hoodie.

“We were able to approach him from behind,” said Chief Kramer. “There were four officers and we were fortunate we were able to diffuse it be for anything else happened.”

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The young man involved is now facing gun-related charges, but police are still trying to figure out why he brought the gun to the mall in the first place.

“He fears retaliation, whether we can verify threats on Facebook or not, he says there were other people that carry guns that he was trying to defend against,” Chief Kramer said.

Police say there could be additional charges filed against the teen who has not been identified by authorities.

He was transported to the Beaver County Jail where a determination on other charges will be made.

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Lynne Hayes-Freeland