Crime

Boy who fired gun in Tacoma high school was handed weapon by another student, police say

A 17-year-old who knows little about weapons is the student who fired a bullet into the floor of Oakland High School Monday morning, prosecutors say.

Charging papers filed in the case Tuesday detail what happened when a different student brought a 9 mm pistol to the alternative Tacoma school.

The shooting sent the school into lockdown and brought a large police presence. The single shot did not injure anyone, but it left a bullet in a room below the men’s bathroom where the shooting occurred.

Two of the school’s students, one 17 and one 19, were arrested in connection with the incident.

The 19-year-old pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of delivery of a firearm to an ineligible person, reckless endangerment and possessing a dangerous weapon on school property.

Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered him released to electronic home monitoring but warned the teenager that he’s prohibited from going to Oakland and that there can’t be any firearms in his home.

“The only time you’re allowed to leave your home is to go to work,” Foley told him.

The 17-year-old was booked into Remann Hall and pleaded not guilty Tuesday to unlawful gun possession, reckless endangerment, aiming or discharging a firearm and having a dangerous weapon on school property.

Commissioner Mark Gelman ordered him held in juvenile detention for now. Gelman cited the potential risk to community safety should the teenager be released and noted the significant resources it took for police to respond to the shooting and investigate.

“Secure detention is where he stays,” Gelman said.

The News Tribune has decided not to name the students at this time.

The shooting occurred during the school’s lunch period.

Kathryn Acheson, the school’s dean of students, reported she heard a loud “pop,” according to charging papers. School officials who went to investigate said the empty bathroom smelled of gunpowder.

Charging papers say the 19-year-old asked the 17-year-old and another student to come to the bathroom because “he had something he wanted to show them.”

The adult student then produced the gun and told the other two it was not loaded. The 17-year-old said he was not familiar with firearms and took the gun.

While he was working the gun’s trigger and slide, it fired.

The 19-year-old quickly left the bathroom with the pistol and “got rid of the gun by giving to another person at the bus stop.”

Police retrieved a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol and two magazines from that person at a residence.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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