Sixth-grader accused of bringing gun to school curses judge, security officers in court

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VANCOUVER, Wash. (KPTV) — An 11-year-old boy accused of taking a gun and 400 rounds of ammunition to his middle school erupted with profanities in court Tuesday and cursed at the judge when she ruled that he is a danger to himself and the community and will remain in custody.

After Juvenile Court Commissioner Jennifer Snider announced her decision, the sixth-grader cursed at Snider, grabbed a table where defendants stand at the bench and refused to leave the courtroom. Security guards and the boy’s attorney eventually escorted the boy out of as he called the officers a variety of expletives.

“Don’t (expletive) touch me,” the boy screamed, according to The Columbian newspaper.


Boy being escorted out of Juvenile Court Tuesday. (Photo: KPTV/Portland)

The boy was taken into custody at Frontier Middle School last Wednesday, Oct. 23. His mother called the school to report her son may have taken kitchen knives to school. Once detained, school resource officers said they found a .22-caliber handgun and ammunition in the student’s pockets. Knives were found in his backpack, police said.

Detectives interviewed school administrators, and were told the boy said a voice in his head was telling him to kill a classmate for calling his friend “gay,” according to court documents.

In a later interview with police, the boy told detectives he planned to shoot his classmate in the arm, and then shoot himself in the head.

In court Tuesday, prosecutors said the boy confessed to stealing the gun Oct. 17. He also said he brought it to school Oct. 18 and Oct. 21.

The defense attorney, however, said the gun had been disabled by his parents and was not operable.

A doctor told a judge Tuesday that the boy has a long history of outbursts that have been increasing recently. The doctor stated the child is easily irritated and does not possess coping skills.

The doctor also said three mental health professionals warned the parents to secure their home before this incident.

The parents did not speak in court, but were visibly shaken and crying. The father briefly tried to comfort the boy when the judge ruled he would remain in custody, before giving up.

Originally facing the charge of attempted murder, the boy is now charged with attempted assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of a dangerous weapon on school facilities.


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  • esco

    Looks like it's going to be a long road to get this kid to rationalize with himself and the world. Good thing he failed with his plan and some help can be issued his way. The way it seems now,
    it won't be easy to do.

  • Kris

    "The defense attorney, however, said the gun had been disabled by his parents and was not operable."

    So the parents gave it back to him? What for a toy? Scare tactic? I think they are just as guilty here

    • Jay

      No. I think they disabled the gun because they were told to "secure their home". I don't think they gave it back to him. I think they don't have a gun safe or other secure location to put the firearm. Honestly, if they were "just as guilty", the mother would not have been the one to turn him in. We can't have it both ways. Either we make it a law that if you own a gun, you must also own a gun safe or we continue as we are and deal with the fact that children are going to continue to have access to firearms. I'd rather put safety regulations on gun ownership, but I know many an individual that would scream about the Second Amendment if we did.

  • Guest

    There isn't any helping this kid. Too bad we can't put down our sick and broken fellow man like the rest of nature does or like we do to rabid animals or other dangerous animals. I know this sounds bad but it would probably be the best thing for him. It's probably more humane than to keep the poor kid in a cage for the rest of his life.

    • Jay

      That's not true. I have a child that used to be like that, though not to that degree. He was destructive, rather than violent, and had incredibly poor impulse control. I spent years having him in special programs in school and fighting with doctors to get him appropriate mental health care. He spent a little over one year having once a week sessions with a child psychiatrist that specialized in anger issues. He learned positive coping techniques and ways to diffuse or control his anger. He changed dramatically as a person for the better. I almost didn't recognize my own son. He still has a temper and always will, but now rather than destroying something or shouting obscenities, he will use the techniques that he learned, quickly bringing his anger down. Unfortunately, our penal system is more geared to your way of thinking and we don't really help these people. That's why we have ridiculously high recidivism rates and other countries that actually focus on rehabilitation and mental health care have almost negligible recidivism rates.