When students arrived at school on Wednesday morning, they noticed someone in the parking lot who wasn't supposed to be there.

It was a teenager who was suspended earlier this week.  Other students reported seeing him on school grounds.

"So we were aware. and again they thought the person was there so we wanted to make sure we wanted to look for them. Students were concerned and reported it to the school resource officer," said school Principal Steve Mayhew.

Administrators looked for him, but he was gone.

Later that day administrators noticed the teen again on school grounds.

The school resource officer found the student sitting in his car in a parking lot near the school football field and immediately searched his vehicle.

"The student had, as I said, a shotgun, which was found to be loaded, ammunition, the brass knuckles, and a substance that has appeared to be alcohol in the student's truck," Mayhew said.

A school resource officer profiled by WDBJ7 in a previous story arrested the student.

He remains at a juvenile detention home in Danville.

The serious reaction from the school system is what students who bring weapons to school should expect.

But the county is rural and some students hunt before coming to campus.

"There were times many years ago in rural counties across Virginia and other places too where that was probably an acceptable practice. It was not something that was too uncommon. But we don't live in that world of 20 or 25 years ago," said James McDaniel, Pittsylvania County superintendent.

There is a zero tolerance rule for weapons on Pittsylvania County Schools' property.  That means a student could be suspended or expelled.

But Virginia law does allow some criminal exemptions.

That includes students who have an unloaded shotgun or knife in a trunk or a gun rack, a concealed weapon permit holder but the gun must stay in the car, or if there's a school-approved event.