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Student who brought handgun to Evans Elementary School arrested

Lots of new schools, likely new high school, coming to D49 in coming years.jpg
Posted at 1:00 PM, Oct 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-05 15:29:23-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Evans Elementary School and District 49 are working with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) to investigate a handgun found in a student's backpack on Tuesday.

"How did it happen?" asked Ryan Schell, father to a second grader at the elementary school, wondering how an elementary school got a gun in their hands.

"I think that's my main concern - How was it able to be in the possession of a young kid? It should be locked away," said Schell.

According to D49, after school started, a parent reported to a staff member that their child had seen another student with a single round of ammunition on Monday.

The staff member immediately reported this to administrators who called El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and D49 security.

The student was then removed from class and the handgun, along with extra ammunition, was found in the student's backpack.

"If you're going to get a gun and if you can invest in the money it takes to own guns, you should definitely be able to invest in a safe storage container for them," said Nathan Vickey, whose student is in Kindergarten at Evans Elementary. Vickey says he owns guns which are safely stored and makes sure his children know they are "not toys".

The district said there was no indication the student wanted to threaten or harm students and staff but it was determined to be a misguided attempt to impress friends.

EPSO will investigate how the student obtained the handgun.

EPSO had not revealed the age of the student, or if anyone will be charged.

Following an investigation, the student was arrested and booked into Zebulon Pike Youth Services Center. The student was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon on school grounds, a class 6 felony.

The investigation also confirmed the student brought the gun to school to show his friends. The identity of the student will not be revealed due to his age.

How the student came into possession of the handgun is still being investigated.

The handgun was secured and all students, staff, and guests are safe.

Read the full letter to parents and staff below:

Dear Evans Elementary School Families,

EES and the D49 safety and security team are currently working with our law enforcement partners at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the discovery Tuesday morning of a handgun in the backpack of an EES student. We want to assure you the firearm has been secured, and that students, staff, and guests are safe.

Shortly after the start of school Tuesday, a parent shared with an EES staff member that their student reported seeing another student with a single round of ammunition Monday. The staff member immediately notified EES administrators who called both EPSO and D49 safety and security. The student who reportedly displayed the ammunition was removed from class, and a search of the student’s backpack revealed a handgun and additional ammunition. There is no indication the student intended to threaten, or harm, students or staff. After speaking with the student and the student’s parents, we believe this incident is more reflective of a misguided attempt to impress friends. EPSO will conduct a thorough investigation into how the student obtained the handgun.

D49 commends the quick action of the parent and EES staff to identify and respond to a potentially dangerous situation. Although we do not believe this was intended as a threat, and do not believe our campus is in any danger, we are committed to investigating this situation completely and will determine the appropriate next steps for the student involved who is subject to both school and law enforcement consequences. D49 thanks our law enforcement partners and encourages all of our students and families to stay alert and report any suspicious activity. We thank you for your trust, understanding and support in this matter. The safety of students, families and staff on our campuses is non-negotiable; we will remain proactive and partner with local law enforcement to ensure a safe learning environment awaits every District 49 learner.


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