Public Safety

12-year-old charged with attempted murder after bringing gun into Eldridge junior high

(iStock)
(iStock)

ELDRIDGE — A 12-year-old boy who brought a loaded gun into his classroom at North Scott Junior High has been arrested and charged with attempted murder, authorities said Friday.

No shots were fired, no one was injured, and a teacher at the school disarmed the student before police arrived, according to a statement from Eldridge Police Chief David Kopatich.

Police recovered a weaponm described as a .22-caliber handgun.

The boy, who was not identified by authorities, was being held at the Scott County Juvenile Detention facility, police said.

Along with the attempted murder charge, he faces an additional felony for carrying a gun on school property, according to police.

No additional details were immediately available.

Police would not disclose whether the boy was targeting a specific person or generally threatening others. They also would not say how the child got the gun.

North Scott Superintendent Joe Stutting praised the actions of the school staff, saying the teacher who obtained the gun “did a phenomenal job handling the situation (and) keeping people safe.”

The school district — north of Davenport in Eastern Iowa — does routine safety training to prepare for such emergencies, he said, but the outcome ultimately depended on how the teacher and school staff reacted.

“It made all the difference in the world,” he said.

By late Friday morning, several children were seen leaving school early with their parents.

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Among them was Chase Wheeler, a seventh-grader at the junior high school, who said he was in social studies class when the boy pulled out the gun. Frightened over the episode, he asked his mother to pick him up from school.

Amy Wheeler, his mother, was relieved her son was safe and questioned how a boy in his class obtained a gun in the first place.

“It’s a crazy world out here,” she said.

Classes are scheduled to resume Tuesday. Stutting said staff will continue to work to “make our kids feel safe again when they come back.”

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