13-year-old facing gun charges

By Pat Jenkins The Dispatch A Spanaway teenager is accused by authorities of stealing guns and pointing one of them at fellow students at a bus stop. Charges of assault, illegal possession of a firearm and trafficking stolen property were filed Oct. 29 against the 13-year-old boy in Pierce County Juvenile Court. He was being held at Remann Hall, the county's juvenile detention center. According to authorities, the boy was arrested at Cedarcrest Middle School in the Bethel School District, where he is a seventh-grader. He didn't take guns to the school, but he's suspected of stealing several hundreds rounds of ammunition and three guns from his grandfather. The boy's name was released to the news media last week by the county prosecuting attorney's office, but The Dispatch isn't pubilshing it because he is a minor. On Oct. 28, two students were waiting at their bus stop at 172nd Street East and 10th Avenue East in Spanaway when they saw the boy standing in a nearby yard and pointing a rifle at them, authorities said. The students reportedly were afraid they would be shot and quickly went to another bus stop. After the school bus took them to Cedarcrest, the students told school officials what happened. The boy was called to the school office, which he ran from after being asked about the reported gun incident. He was convinced by school employees to return to the office and wait for police to arrive. The county Sheriff Department reported that deputies who later searched the area near the first bus stop found a .22 caliber rifle and a backpack "containing a significant amount of ammunition,GÇ¥ including approximately 300 rounds of .22-caliber ammunition and several rounds of .44-caliber ammunition. Deputies said the boy's grandfather, with whom he lives, confirmed the rifle was stolen from his gun safe. He also told deputies that two other firearms and some ammunition were missing. Deputies found the stolen key for the gun safe and ammunition in the boy's bedroom. According to Sheriff Department spokesman Ed Troyer, the boy told deputies he sold the two missing guns to students. He sold one in exchange for vaping paraphernalia and the other for $120 in cash, an ounce of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, Troyer said. An investigation of the missing guns was continuing last week. Troyer said a rumor that the suspect was angry at one or more people and was going to take a gun to school hasn't been substantiated. He added that the boy has been suspended from school multiple times. The same day as the rifle-pointing incident was reported, school district officials posted a message about it on Cedarcrest's website. The message emphasized no weapons were found at the school and that the student who was arrested and charged in the incident "will be disciplined.GÇ¥ It also encouraged students to continue to report "any issues that concern them.GÇ¥ Sheriff Paul Pastor praised the "two students who kept their wit and immediately reportedGÇ¥ last week's incident. He also commended Cedarcreset's staff "for their quick action in finding and detaining the suspect even after he tried to run.GÇ¥


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