Student brings gun to West Kearns Elementary
Updated: 12/18/2012 9:24 am | Published: 12/17/2012 5:38 pm
KEARNS, Utah (ABC4 News) – Panic and fear spread among parents and children after a 6th grade boy brought a handgun and ammunition to school on Monday.
The 11-year-old said he was worried about the events of the Newtown, CT shooting.
Granite School District Spokesman Ben Horsley said as soon as the teacher found out, she took him straight to the principal’s office. School police searched the boy’s backpack and found the handgun and ammunition.
Horsley said the school did not go on lockdown.
“I would reassure parents if there had been any information or any question that student safety was still in jeopardy a lockdown procedure would have been implemented,” Horsley said.
Isabelle Rios, a 6th grade student, said the boy threatened her and other students. She said the boy pointed the gun to their heads and threatened to kill them if they told the teacher.
“I was scared out of my mind,” she said.
Horsley would not confirm if the boy threatened any students.
When Isabelle’s mother, Mandee Doyle found out, she started crying. Doyle is upset the school did not notify her sooner.
“This boy that the gun the whole time in school and was showing it around,” she said. “Why wasn’t the teacher aware of the boy fiddling with his backpack?”
Horsley said the incident was taken care of immediately.
The West Kearns Elementary School principal sent out a message to parents following the incident, but the message was delayed because he kept getting interrupted by police and concerned parents.
The message reads:
Dear West Kearns Elementary Patrons
This is an important message from your Principal – to repeat this message at any time – please press one. One of our students was worried about things he heard about on the news and brought a weapon to school with him today. As soon as this was reported, I brought the student into the office and Granite District Police promptly responded. The situation was resolved without incident. We are grateful that attentive students reported the weapon so it could be taken care of quickly. We are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for your children. If you have any questions, please contact me at XXXXXXX. To repeat this message again please press one. Thank you very much for your support and have a good day.
Angel Guzman, another 6th grade student, said he got a glimpse of the gun in the boy’s backpack. He said the boy stated the gun was for protection.
“He shouldn’t have brought a gun period,” Doyle said. “If he brought it to protect himself why was he pointing it other children’s heads and threatening their lives?”
Officials said the boy’s gun was not loaded and the ammunition he had likely did not fit the firearm. They would not say who provided the gun to the boy.
The boy’s parents were being interviewed at West Kearns Elementary on Monday night.
Doyle and other parents remained upset, especially after the Newtown, CT shootings that has left the nation in mourning.
“My heart goes out to all the families in Connecticut,” Doyle added. “This is sad.”
The boy was arrested by Granite School District Police. He will spend the night in a juvenile detention facility and possibly face charges.
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