The bullet from a handgun that was fired inside a St. Paul elementary school last week nearly struck a boy in the foot, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.
No one was hurt in the Nov. 17 incident at Crossroads Elementary, 543 Front Av., but the bullet almost struck a student and then skipped across the floor toward the teacher’s desk.
Breanna J. Jones, 34, of St. Paul, was charged in Ramsey County District Court on Tuesday with one count of gross misdemeanor endangerment of a child by firearm for allegedly leaving the unlocked gun in a plastic bedside drawer. Her 7-year-old nephew found the .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver and took it to school, where it was fired in a classroom full of students.
According to the complaint: A teacher heard the gun go off and saw it on the ground under a table with students. She wrapped it in cloth and delivered it to the principal’s office. It held four live rounds and a spent casing.
Police responded to the scene and interviewed students who were at the table. One student reported seeing a boy play with the gun and then slide it under the table to a second boy. The second boy, an 8-year-old, spun the revolver’s cylinder and pulled the trigger, causing it to fire.
The student told police that “the bullet almost hit his foot and scared him.”
The first boy fled after the gun fired. When police eventually found him, he said that he obtained the gun on the bus from a 7-year-old boy.
“When asked why he would bring it to class, [the first boy] just shrugged,” the complaint said.
Jones’ nephew, a first-grader, told police that the gun belonged to his uncle, and that he got it out of a bedroom drawer. Police later discovered that Jones had a permit to carry the gun.
“[Jones’ nephew] said he searched the drawers and found it in the top drawer,” the complaint said.
Jones’ nephew told police that he gave the gun to the first boy while on the school bus.
Jones told police that she had the gun for home protection, and had purchased it three weeks before the school incident. The gun was kept in a plastic, see-through bedside stand with no trigger lock or storage device, the charge said. Jones’ husband told police it was kept in his bedside stand.
Jones and her husband denied showing the gun to their nephew, but told police he may have overheard them talking about it. Jones was charged via summons, meaning she will be allowed to turn herself in at a later date.
Jones could not be reached for comment.