A 13-year-old boy is accused of taking a .38-caliber handgun Monday onto the grounds of Nisqually Middle School and a 12-year-old boy is accused of firing the pistol Tuesday outside an apartment complex on Skokomish Way, according to a Thurston County juvenile prosecutor.
Both were ordered held at the Thurston County Juvenile Jail during a court hearing Wednesday. The pair was arrested in the 9200 block of Skokomish Way in Thurston County on Tuesday after a report of gunfire, Thurston County Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Elwin said.
Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Wayne Graham said police reports indicate that on Tuesday “they were playing with the gun and cocked it and didn’t know how to disengage it,” and the 12-year-old fired one round into the air.
Sheriff’s deputies were already looking for the pair, after a report that the 13-year-old had brought the gun onto the campus Monday and showed it to students, Graham said. The 13-year-old, who is a runaway, and the 12-year-old are not students at Nisqually Middle School, Graham said.
Graham emphasized the boys did not appear to have any intention to harm anyone at the school. “It does not look like any threats were made with the gun at the school,” he said.
The 12-year-old boy, who has ties to Tacoma, was ordered held on suspicion of juvenile counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds and reckless endangerment, with bail set at $10,000.
Thurston County Pro Tem Court Commissioner Martin Meyer said he was setting a high bail because of the boy’s extensive criminal history, which includes juvenile convictions for residential burglary, misdemeanor assault, possession of stolen property and theft. The boy also has an arrest warrant out of Pierce County and is on juvenile probation there, Meyer said.
“You may be small in stature, but you’ve come before me with a very long criminal history,” Meyer said to the 12-year-old.
Meyer also said he was setting the high bail for the 12-year-old based on the danger to the community and potential for “disaster,” if he should commit a gun crime.
The 13-year-old boy also was ordered held on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds, with bail set at $5,000. The 13-year-old has a criminal history that includes a prior charge of fourth-degree misdemeanor assault. The charge was dropped when he completed a diversion program.
The 13-year-old’s mother appeared in court and said that her son ran away from his aunt’s home in Tacoma last week.
Graham said juvenile authorities are still trying to determine how the children got their hands on the gun.Jeremy Pawloski: firstname.lastname@example.org