Officials said 18-year-old Kelvin Thomas Owens was arrested around 9 a.m., but never entered the school building.
Prior to the incident, Owens was observed by a sheriff's deputy off campus with a group of other males acting suspiciously. When Owens returned to campus a short time later, he smelled of marijuana and was searched by school administrators and deputies. It was during the search of Owens that deputies found the loaded Hi-Point JHP .45 caliber pistol.
Owens has been charged with possession of a firearm on educational property. He is being held in the Durham County Jail under a $5,000 bond. Owens is also on probation for a Sept. 19 conviction of breaking and entering into a vehicle and larceny.
No one was hurt and school continued uninterrupted during the investigation.