A 16-year-old St. Paul boy was charged Thursday with allegedly bringing a loaded handgun to school this week.
The boy faces two felony counts of possession of a weapon while under the age of 18 in the incident Wednesday at Como Park Senior High School, after St. Paul Public Schools officials said they were first informed Monday that the boy was talking about guns while in school.
According to the charges against the boy, a teacher overheard the boy talking to other students about 8:25 a.m. Wednesday. He said he was angry with the school and school security.
The boy had an altercation on school grounds three weeks earlier with someone who was not a student. The boy was allegedly upset that he had been suspended for the incident.
“The next time I see that kid I’m going to bust his head off,” the boy allegedly said Wednesday.
St. Paul police and charging documents said that the teacher reported the incident, and two school resource officers pulled the boy out of class. One of the SROs patted him down and found the 9mm gun tucked in his left waistband.
The boy allegedly told police that he found the weapon in an alley but declined to say where. The gun was loaded with a magazine of hollow-point bullets, which “are known to have a higher degree of lethality,” according to the complaint.
Police and school officials said Wednesday that there was no known threat made to students or staff.
The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office wants to certify the boy as an adult in the case. The Star Tribune generally does not name minors in criminal cases who have not been certified as adults.
The boy’s mother declined to comment when reached by phone Thursday.
One man, who said his mother is a staff member at the school, said his mother first reported that the student was talking about a gun on Monday — two days before his arrest. He said his mother was not taken seriously when she alerted the administration.
“She was scared,” said the staffer’s son, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of personal and professional retaliation against him and his mother. “Nobody did anything. Nobody took her serious.”
Toya Stewart Downey, interim director of communications for the school district, said that “two staffers did attempt to redirect the students’ conversation” on Monday.
According to the man: His mother overheard three boys talking Monday about why they needed guns and how to obtain them. She reported it to the office and was told a security officer would be sent to the class. At some point, the woman staff member pulled the boy who was charged out of the class and told him he couldn’t talk about guns in school. She also reported the incident again, this time to a school administrator. The boy who was charged allegedly did not attend class Tuesday.
“She didn’t go to work Wednesday because she was scared,” he said. “She said, ‘…Things are getting out of hand.’ ”