November 16, 2012

Unloaded gun taken from boy at school

School officials and police praise another student, who saw the gun and took it to a teacher.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - Police say they plan to issue a court summons to a 10-year-old student who brought an unloaded handgun to Riverton Elementary School on Friday morning.

School officials and police praised another student, who saw the gun and took it to a teacher.

Acting Police Chief Vern Malloch said no threat was made and no ammunition was found.

"Keep in mind, one student violated the policy," Malloch said. "A young man brought a gun to school. But another student knew to do the right thing and recognized it as a danger and took the gun and brought it to a teacher."

Police investigated a report two weeks ago that the same boy had brought a gun to school. After multiple interviews with students and the child's parents, they determined that the report was untrue.

If the boy had had a gun then, he would have been suspended and charged, Malloch said.

Police have not determined whether there was a connection between the report two weeks ago and Friday's incident.

Malloch, Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk and Riverton Principal Jeanne Malia held a news conference at noon outside the school off Forest Avenue.

Caulk said the student who reported the gun did an admirable thing, although students are expected to report such incidents.

He said parents should speak with their children about what is appropriate to bring to school, and check children's bookbags to make sure they aren't bringing anything prohibited.

Police were called to the school at 8:30 a.m. The school was locked down for more than an hour. Classes resumed once police determined there were no other guns in the school.

Police are continuing their investigation and are still trying to determine where the boy got the gun.

They said the charge against him would be the adult equivalent of possession of a gun on school grounds.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@pressherald.com

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