Two 13-year-old students at Turner Middle School in West Philadelphia were arrested yesterday after school officials discovered a loaded .40-caliber handgun in a backpack.

The backpack was discovered in one of the student's lockers at the school, 5900 Baltimore Ave., said district spokesman Fernando Gallard.

It was found after that student shoved his teacher and was being escorted out of the classroom by a security officer to collect his personal belongings. At the locker, another student, also a seventh grader, grabbed the student's backpack and claimed it was his.

The security officer became suspicious of the tussle over the backpack and searched it, Gallard said.

Both students were turned over to police and will be charged, Gallard said. Both were suspended, and the student who brought the gun to school will be expelled, he said.

Unlike the district's high schools, Turner does not have walk-through metal detectors.

Contact staff writer Susan Snyder at 215-854-4693 or