Pierce County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 13-year-old boy Wednesday after he allegedly pointed a rifle at two other students at a Spanaway bus stop.
Deputies later found a .22-caliber rifle and a backpack with 300 rounds of .22-caliber ammunition, and several rounds of .44-caliber ammunition in the bushes near the bus stop.
Investigators continued to look for two handguns they believe the boy took from his grandfather’s gun safe.
Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer gave this account:
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The seventh-grade boy pointed the rifle at two other Cedarcrest Middle School students about 8 a.m. at the school bus stop near 172nd Street East and 10th Avenue East. It wasn’t known if the rifle was loaded. It was not loaded when found by deputies.
The boy did not say anything and was across the street from the other students.
He then stashed the rifle in nearby bushes, and got on a school bus, Bethel School District spokeswoman Krista Carlson said.
The two other students also took a bus to school, about 1.5 miles away, but investigators weren’t immediately sure whether it was the same bus the boy took, or one on a different route.
When the two students got to the school at 19120 13th Ave. Court E., they told staff members what had happened and they called the Sheriff’s Department.
When school employees confronted the boy to ask him about the gun, he fled the principal’s office. Staff members caught the teen and kept him from leaving the school.
When deputies arrived, the boy gave different accounts of why he had had the weapon and where it was.
“We’ve determined that the rifle and ammunition was stolen from his grandfather’s gun safe,” Troyer said.
Investigators are looking for a .44-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun and a .22 caliber Ruger Mark III semi-automatic that are still missing from the safe.
The grandfather was cooperating with investigators, Troyer said.
Deputies booked the boy into Remann Hall juvenile detention on suspicion of unlawful gun possession and felony assault.
The school district told Cedarcrest families about the incident, and planned to send messages to other families near the school, district spokeswoman Carlson said.
“The heroes in this incident are the students who kept their wit and immediately reported the incident to the school,” Sheriff Paul Pastor said in a statement. “School staff should be commended for their quick action in finding and detaining the suspect.”