The Pinal County Attorney’s Office has filed charges against a nine-year-old student accused of bringing a gun to a Queen Creek school campus in August.
A student at Legacy Traditional School told their parent that they saw another student with a bullet in his possession on Aug. 24, according to Queen Creek police. The parent informed school staff the same day.
On Aug. 25, school staff took the accused student to a secure location on campus as he was walking into school. Staff searched the student’s backpack and found a gun, according to police. Then they contacted authorities.
The gun had a loaded magazine inside, but the chamber was empty, according to police. Officers took the weapon.
The student told a detective he carried the gun for self-protection from abduction because he traveled between school and home by himself. Detectives didn’t find evidence of the student having plans, collaboration with others or motives or intentions to harm anyone, Queen Creek police Chief Randy Brice said in a written statement.
The County Attorney’s Office announced on Monday that they will be charging the student on suspicion of being a minor prohibited from carrying or possessing a firearm, and interference or disruption of an educational institution — both class six felonies.
“Given the inherent danger involved with a gun being on a school campus, PCAO must take this seriously,” said County Attorney Kent Volkmer in a news release. “However, it is important to appreciate that the juvenile justice system is focused on rehabilitation and correcting behavior and that will be our focus.”
The student was not identified because they are a minor. The County Attorney’s Office has not filed charges against the parents, stating “there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction against the juvenile’s parents for any crime.”
Reach breaking news reporter Angela Cordoba Perez at Angela.CordobaPerez@Gannett.com or on Twitter @AngelaCordobaP.
Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Charges filed against 9-year-old accused of bringing gun to school