Boy, 12, brings gun to MacArthur Middle School in Berkeley

A 12-year old boy is charged with unlawful use of a weapon on school grounds after accidentally firing a gun inside a school in west suburban Berkeley.
October 17, 2013 3:10:44 AM PDT
A 12-year old boy is charged with unlawful use of a weapon on school grounds after accidentally firing a gun inside a school in west suburban Berkeley.

Police say the student discharged the gun at a toilet in the boys' restroom at MacArthur Middle School. Officials said it may have been accidental. Apparently no one reported seeing the student with the gun until about 3:30 p.m., when the principal disarmed him and the secretary called police.

The 911 call: "The principal requested that we have an officer come over. We've found a gun in the school."

Police say they believe the student had the gun in school all day, though they have no reports he made any threats or was involved in bullying.

"He didn't seem angry when he was asked, 'Why did you bring the gun to school?' He just said, 'I don't know,'" Chief Dale Gustafson, Berkeley Police Department said.

Police took the boy into custody where he is facing juvenile charges. District 87 officials meantime have posted a letter to parents on their website, which said, in part, "at no time did the student possessing the weapon approach or threaten any student, staff member, or visitor in the school. However, the weapon was loaded."

Some parents say the district should have informed them immediately after the incident yesterday.

"I'm very concerned. They should let parents know right away," Melissa Zenteno, parent, said.

Police say they are investigating the origin of the gun and whether it is registered to anyone or has been used in any crimes.

"There is concern about how he got it in, we're still working on that," Chief Gustafson said.

The boy is in custody at the juvenile detention facility, and the school district is moving to expel him through the rest of the year.


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