Police: 6th Grader Brings Gun To School To Protect Himself - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Police: 6th Grader Brings Gun To School To Protect Himself

Posted: Updated:

KHQ.COM - A sixth-grade student in Utah is in police custody after he was accused of bringing a gun to school Monday, reportedly claiming he wanted to protect himself in the event of a school shooting.

The 11-year-old is a student at West Kearns Elementary School, in Kearns, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City, and brought the .22-caliber handgun to school in his backpack, Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley told NBC News. 

The boy, whose name has not been released because he is a juvenile, indicated that he wanted to defend himself if there was an incident similar to what happened in Newtown, Conn. Last Friday, 20 students, ages 6 and 7, and six school staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School were killed when a gunman burst into the school and opened fire before fatally shooting himself. The gunman had killed his mother earlier that day.

"Obviously that's not the correct approach," Horlsey said of the 11-year-old's action. "We teach these kids on a regular basis that they have a responsibility to keep their school safe."

Some witnesses have said they saw the boy brandish the gun on the playground and point it at another child's head. Other reports said the boy verbally threatened another student with the gun. Police have not yet been able to confirm these accounts, Horsley said, noting that it's sometimes difficult to sort out the facts when all the witnesses are children. 

Horsley said two of the boy's classmates complained to a teacher at about 3 p.m. MST, about 45 minutes before the end of the school day. The teacher immediately secured the boy and took him to the principal's office. It was the principal who retrieved the boy's backpack from his classroom and contacted Granite School District police. Police were able to find the weapon and secured the situation in three to five minutes, Horsley said.

The boy also had ammunition, although the gun was not loaded and it was not immediately clear whether the bullets were the appropriate ammunition for the gun, Horsley said. 

The student was charged with one count of possession of a dangerous weapon on school property and three charges of aggravated assault, which is a third-degree felony, involving the alleged waving of the weapon at other students in a threatening manner.

Horsley said the student obtained the gun at home from an extended family member who moved out of the family's house last week.

Previous reports indicated that the student claimed his parents told him to bring the gun to school for protection. Horsley said those claims are not accurate and said the parents have been "very cooperative."

Horsley said the student is likely to face severe criminal penalties, adding that he was suspended from the school and will not be let back into the traditional school setting ever. "We have a variety of alternative placements for kids who violate school safety policies," Horsley said. 

No one was injured in the incident, and the school was not placed on lockdown, school administrators said, because the situation was resolved immediately, and, more importantly, they feared startling students.

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dog found nearly dead with gunshot wounds still needs a home

    Dog found nearly dead with gunshot wounds still needs a home

    Friday, September 12 2014 8:21 PM EDT2014-09-13 00:21:26 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of you may remember Bella, the American Staffordshire Terrier that stole our hearts after she was found by a family camping in the woods near Coeur d'Alene beaten, starving and nearly dead from two gun shot wounds. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of you may remember Bella, the American Staffordshire Terrier that stole our hearts after she was found by a family camping in the woods near Coeur d'Alene beaten, starving and nearly dead from two gun shot wounds. The family who found her, rushed her to the vet and somehow she survived. >>>ADOPT BELLA>>> >>
  • First date ends with man dead, woman hospitalized

    First date ends with man dead, woman hospitalized

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:44:21 GMT
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Pierce County sheriff's detectives know this much: a first date ended with a Gig Harbor, Washington, man dead and his date hospitalized in critical condition.The News Tribune reports that investigators think the 47-year-old Port Orchard woman ran over her date, then crashed his truck 15 feet down an embankment.>>
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Pierce County sheriff's detectives know this much: a first date ended with a Gig Harbor, Washington, man dead and his date hospitalized in critical condition.The News Tribune reports that investigators think the 47-year-old Port Orchard woman ran over her date, then crashed his truck 15 feet down an embankment.
    >>
  • WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    Thursday, September 11 2014 8:52 PM EDT2014-09-12 00:52:54 GMT
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>