Detained: Two students of Chief Joseph Middle School, ages 11 and 12. Richland Residents
On 03/29/2012 at 2:38 PM the Richland police were called to Chief Joseph Middle School where it was reported there was a student with a gun near the main entrance of the school. The suspect was an 11 year old student of Chief Joseph and multiple students saw him with the handgun. School had already been released for the day so it was not placed on lock down since most of the students were already outside. It was also reported that the student with the hand gun might be en route to another 12 year old student's residence to threaten him, so police responded to that location and also to the suspect's residence.
The 11 year old suspect was located at his residence and eventually came outside after being hailed for several minutes over the police car's loud speaker. The handgun had been thrown out of a second floor window and was located in some bushes near the back of the residence by police officers. The handgun turned out to be a plastic airsoft gun.
During the investigation that followed it was learned that the airsoft gun was actually brought to school by the 12 year old student so he could sell it to another student. The 12 year old student didn't want to take the airsoft handgun into the school so he hid it in some bushes on school property. The 11 year old suspect saw him hide the gun and he went and took it from the bushes. Just after school was let out for the day the 11 year old displayed the airsoft gun to several students and pointed it at the midsection of a male student. It was at that time that students began to report the sighting of the gun to school officials and the police were called.
The Richland Police Department and the Richland School District are continuing their investigation with several students still needing to be interviewed concerning this incident.
Sgt. Brian Ruegsegger, (509) 942-7713
Contact Sgt. Darryl Judge for additional at (509) 628-0333