Boy’s father arrested in gun-at-school case

The father of an Oak Harbor fourth-grader who brought a gun to school was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of reckless endangerment.

Detective Sgt. Teri Gardner with the Oak Harbor Police Department said the 36-year-old Oak Harbor man was very cooperative with police during the investigation, but detectives found evidence that he hadn’t properly stored guns while there was a child in the home.

Under state law, a person is guilty of reckless endangerment if “he or she recklessly engages in conduct ... that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.” It’s a gross misdemeanor charge.

The 9-year-old boy was expelled Sept. 14 after school officials discovered he was carrying a loaded .45 caliber Ruger in his backpack. Oak Harbor Police Chief Rick Wallace said the gun had a full magazine and a round in the chamber. The safety was in the “on” position.

According to school officials, the boy also brought a different gun to school on the day before.

The boy showed a handgun to a girl on a school bus Sept. 13. She told one of her parents who, in turn, reported the incident to the school the next morning.

Investigators don’t believe that the boy intended to hurt anyone, but was probably just showing off. Gardner said he told police he didn’t know why he brought the loaded gun to school.


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