Boy charged following school lockdown

October 1, 2009 4:36:10 PM PDT
A 16-year-old Union City boy whose loaded handgun prompted authorities to close Newark Memorial High School on Wednesday has been charged with possession of a weapon in proximity to a high school, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

MOST POPULAR: Video, stories and more
SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you from ABC7

The suspect, who is not a Newark Memorial student, had the gun near campus but not on it, and no shots were fired, police said. The district attorney's office juvenile division filed the charges against him today and his name is not being released because of his age.

The charge of possessing a weapon normally carries a maximum sentence of three years, and the enhancement of being in proximity to a school could add another three years, Deputy District Attorney Scott Swisher said.

But the proximity to the school enhancement probably will not affect the suspect's sentence in this case because he is a juvenile, according to Swisher.

"In juvenile cases we don't really send people away for terms of years like in adult court," he said. "Probably as a practical matter it won't result in more time. (The charge) is kind of misleading in a juvenile case."

On Wednesday, a police officer patrolling a condominium complex near the school saw the suspect standing in a group of four to seven teenagers and thought the youths might be truant students, Newark police Cmdr. Bob Douglas said.

When the officer approached the teens, they scattered, and some jumped a fence and ran onto school grounds, Douglas said. Police detained three of the teens, including the Union City boy, who was carrying a loaded handgun.

Swisher said the suspect was taken down at gunpoint before he was searched, according to a police report, but it's unclear what happened to the other two teens who were detained. Swisher's report only mentions the 16-year-old with the handgun.

After the gun was found, police ordered that Newark Memorial be shut down while officers established a perimeter and SWAT teams searched the school classroom by classroom to make sure none of the teens who were on school grounds had brought a weapon onto campus, Douglas said.

After the search, students were taken to the gymnasium and held there until they were released to their waiting parents.

Police from Fremont and Union City assisted in the search, Douglas said.

       Today's latest headlines | ABC7 News on your phone
Follow us on Twitter | Fan us on Facebook | Get our free widget


Load Comments