Public Safety

Trigger was pulled, but safety was on, in North Scott Junior High student gun incident

Student's error likely saved North Scott Junior High teacher

(iStock)
(iStock)

DAVENPORT — Court documents recount a harrowing scene inside a North Scott Junior High School classroom on Aug. 31.

A 12-year-old boy allegedly walked into a classroom with a black Smith & Wesson .22-caliber handgun and ordered everyone to the floor. He pointed the gun at the teacher’s face and pulled the trigger, but it did not go off because he forgot to take off the safety, according to the arrest affidavits filed Tuesday in Scott County Juvenile Court.

The teacher wrestled the gun away from the boy.

Eldridge police were called to the junior high school around 8:30 a.m. The school was put on lockdown, and police seized the gun, which was “fully loaded” and had one round in the chamber.

The affidavits do not say how or where the boy got the gun.

Eldridge Police Chief David Kopatich declined to comment Friday on the statements in the arrest affidavits.

The boy has been charged with attempted murder, carrying weapons on school grounds, both felonies, and assault while displaying a dangerous weapon, an aggravated misdemeanor.

This week, Associate Judge Cheryl Traum ordered the boy to remain in the custody of the Scott County Juvenile Detention Center. A detention review hearing is scheduled Monday.

The Quad-City Times is not naming the boy because it has not been determined if he will be tried as a juvenile or as a youthful offender in adult court.

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Assistant Scott County Attorney Dion Trowers on Tuesday filed a motion to try the boy as a youthful offender.

If granted, the boy would be tried in adult court and, if convicted, would be sentenced in and remain under the supervision of the juvenile court until just before his 18th birthday.

The case then would return to adult court, where a judge could dismiss the case or sentence the boy to prison, among other sentencing options.

A prehearing conference also will be held Monday.

Kopatich and North Scott school Superintendent Joe Stutting on Tuesday thanked middle school staffers, along with Eldridge police and the Scott County Sheriff’s Department for their handling of the incident.

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