Wood student brought gun to school, police say
Alameda police arrested a 14-year-old Wood Middle School student Wednesday on four weapons charges after he allegedly brought a loaded semiautomatic pistol to school. Police said the boy allegedly was being bullied by another student.
The students’ names are not being released because they are minors, Alameda Police Lt. David Boersma said.
Boersma said the incident allegedly stemmed from the 14-year-old’s request that a 13-year-old student befriend him on MySpace, which was denied. Police believe the students began “cursing back and forth” through the website, and that additional verbal confrontations followed in school.
Boersma said that school officials first learned of the gun allegation when they found the second student on the school’s basketball court Wednesday instead of in class. When asked why, the student told school staff that he had heard from other students that the 14-year-old student had a gun and that he was scared to go to class.
When school officials brought the eighth grader into the school office at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Boersma said they found him in possession of a loaded .380 semiautomatic pistol, which police believe he had been carrying at school for at least a week before his arrest. Boersma said the teen said the gun belonged to a family member, and that police are checking out that account. He also allegedly had five knives – one of them a 13-inch blade knife in a scabbard – and three throwing stars, police said.
The teen was arrested and transported to Alameda County Juvenile Hall, Boersma said. Boersma said he couldn’t comment on whether the teen had any previous contact with law enforcement, but he said school officials told police that “he was a low-key student that didn’t have any other disciplinary issues.”
The Alameda Journal’s Peter Hegarty reports that the school suspended the 13-year-old who was allegedly bullying him. Hegarty reports that the problems between the two students continued over several months.
Wood Principal Gilbert Cho sent a letter to parents Thursday reiterating the school’s no-tolerance policy for weapons on campus and saying the school will continue its investigation of the incident. And he asked parents and students to report information regarding future threats to safety immediately.
“We interviewed a number of students knowledgeable about these banned devices brought onto our campus. I want to take this opportunity to remind students and parents that it is absolutely critical that persons with information about safety threats immediately contact school officials. Further, if your student is questioned about such an incident, District policy requires that they provide any and all information regarding the incident,” Cho wrote.