Moral Low Ground


11-Year-Old Utah Boy Threatens to Kill Classmate with Gun He Brought to School, Allegedly with Parents’ Permission

An 11-year-old Utah boy is in a juvenile detention facility and facing criminal charges after allegedly threatening to kill a classmate with a handgun and ammunition he brought to school.

Fox 13  reports that the unidentified boy, a sixth-grader at West Kearns Elementary School in Kearns, claims that his parents encouraged him to bring his .22 handgun to school for protection against a Newtown, Connecticut-type school shooting.

The boy allegedly pulled the unloaded weapon out during recess on Monday and threatened to shoot another student.

“He pulled out a gun and he put it to my head — me and my friend — (and) said he was going to kills us,” classmate Isabelle Rios told KSL. “I told him I was going to tell, but he said, ‘If you tell, I’m going to kill you.'”

Although the alleged incident happened during morning recess, Rios waited until later in the day to alert a teacher. That teacher then disarmed the boy before sending him to the principal’s office, where police arrived a short time later. The gun was taken from the boy’s backpack, along with ammunition.

“This teacher in particular put herself with this student and took him into physical custody to ensure that he was not able to use that weapon to harm anybody,” Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley told KSL.

Horsely told the Salt Lake Tribune that the 11-year-old boy was detained and booked  into a juvenile detention center on suspicion of bringing a dangerous weapon to school and aggravated assault for allegedly aiming the gun at students on the playground during recess on Monday.

Horsely also said that the boy will likely face a “lengthy” suspension.

“This is an egregious violation of our Safe School policies. We take this very seriously,” Horsley said, calling the boy’s family “very cooperative and helpful to our investigation.”

The school was not placed on lockdown, although some parents expressed shock and fear upon learning about the incident.

“I’m taking my kids out of school. They ain’t coming back here,” Mandee Doyle, whose children attend West Kearns, told KSL.

Parents were understandably nervous following last Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 28 people, including 20 children under the age of 8, were shot to death by gunman Adam Lanza.

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