Northwest NEWS

June 15, 1998

Local News

Teen with loaded gun arrested near school

   by Andrew Walgamott
   Staff reporter


   BOTHELL--A teenager with a loaded gun was arrested near a Northshore school last week just as classes were being let out for the day. Police arrested the 13-year-old boy last Thursday just off the campus of Canyon Park Junior High. A .22 caliber semiautomatic handgun was found tucked in the waistband of his pants. The teen, who was suspended from school two months ago, was booked into Denny Youth Center in Everett for illegal possession of a firearm.
  
   Police were unsure of the boy's motives. "We possibly averted a very tragic accident or just stopped a kid who wanted to look tough," said Bothell Police Captain Bob Woolverton. The boy was known to hang around after school to wait for his friends. Thursday, students told a Student Resource Officer (SRO) at the school they had seen him the night before with a loaded handgun. The SRO alerted patrol officers. Then, at about 2:30 p.m., the SRO located the boy sitting on grass across the street from the school which is at 23723 23rd Ave. S.E. on the Snohomish County side of Bothell. Woolverton said the gun was found when the officer patted the boy down for weapons.
  
   Pamela Steele, Northshore School District communications director, said the youth, who was in seventh grade, was on a long term suspension stemming from a March incident when he intimidated another student, refused to comply with directions and cursed in the office. She said the youth has had attendance and compliance problems throughout the year for which he was receiving progressively harsher discipline. The March incident "was enough for the school officials to decide to suspend him," Steele said.
  
   Woolverton said the boy was "well known to our juvenile officers." Steele said he had been involved with alcohol and marijuana. Both officials said kids bringing weapons to district schools was extremely rare. "This was the first weapons incident of the year," Steele said. "We've had a couple [over the years] but thankfully the number of incidents involving weapons for the Northshore School District is very low." Through a cooperative program with Northshore, Bothell places uniformed officers in schools. Illegal possession of a firearm is a Class C felony that carries a five-year prison sentence. Students caught with guns on campus or buses face a yearlong expulsion.