A Warrawong teen has been charged amid allegations he brandished an imitation gun out his car window while driving past Kannahooka High on Thursday, forcing the school into lockdown during the first day of the HSC.
Dylan James Lewis, 19, was arrested at his Chisolm Road home on Thursday evening and charged with one count of being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence.
Police will allege a group of Year 10 students was sitting behind the school's canteen during recess when they heard a car beeping its horn on nearby Joan Street.
The group said they turned to see a silver Toyota Corolla travelling northbound along the roadway, allegedly carrying two passengers and being driven by a man wearing an orange face mask.
They told police the driver was pointing a rifle out of the side window as the car went past them and they could hear multiple males laughing as the car drove off.
The students reported the incident to teachers, who immediately placed the school into lockdown and called police.
Meanwhile, one of the students checked her Snapchat account, at which time she saw a video of the drive-by incident had been uploaded to a mutual friend's account.
The video allegedly showed the car being driven erratically around in circles in a nearby field, along with a picture taken from the back seat showing the rile sitting between the passenger's seat and the centre console.
The girl messaged the boy asking if he'd driven past the school and he allegedly replied "yea, with a gun, hahaha".
She took a screen shot of the message, allegedly prompting the other passenger to threaten her.
An investigation by police led them to Lewis, who allegedly confessed to driving the car at the time of the offence and owning the gel blaster rifle at the centre of the allegations. He also named his two alleged accomplices.
However, in Wollongong Local Court on Friday, defence lawyer Cate Doosey said Lewis intended to plead not guilty to the charge.
She said he "categorically denies" any involvement in brandishing the gun, blaming the act on his two passengers, who she said had been "skylarking".
Ms Doosey said Lewis had been kicked out of his father's house a week earlier and had effectively been living in his car, with all his possessions.
Magistrate Susan McGowan granted Lewis strict conditional bail to live with his mother. He must report to police three times a week and abide by a nighttime curfew as part of his release.
Lewis was supported in court by two female friends and his mother, who lashed out at thew Mercury's photographer outside the court.