QUEEN CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A fourth-grade student who brought a gun to Legacy Traditional School in Queen Creek in August found it in his parents’ room, according to court records.
On Wednesday, August 24, a student at the school saw a 4th grade classmate had a bullet. The student told his parents what they saw after they got home from school. The parents then told school officials what their child had seen. The next day, Legacy School staff approached the fourth grader as he entered the school.
Staff removed the child from classmates and searched his backpack. An employee found a gun with a loaded magazine in it, although the cartridge chamber of the gun was empty. Staff then called the Queen Creek Police Department, and when officers arrived, they took up the gun and began their investigation. Police determined that there was no bullet in the chamber, but that the magazine held 16 rounds of ammunition.
When the gun was found it was loose in a backpack rather than in a holster.
How the boy got the gun
According to court documents released Tuesday, the fourth-grader told a classmate that he brought a gun to school “for protection” and that he got the gun from his parents’ bedroom. He also showed various classmates a bullet he had brought with him. Queen Creek Police, during their investigation, learned that the child’s parents, Briana Juarez and Keith Martinez, had not taken sufficient security precautions to prevent their child from having access to the gun.
At first, Juarez told investigators that the firearm was in a locked, chest-style dresser, but she later clarified that the gun itself was not locked, instead the gun had a lock. She stated that it was kept in an unsecured drawer in a tall dresser. She then said she was in the dresser on the morning of August 24 but did not realize the gun was missing or when she last saw the gun with the lock on. According to court documents, neither parent had been able to locate the gun lock since the incident.
The boy told police the gun was “a bit difficult to get hold of” and that he had to use a ladder to get there. The boy knew his parents had a gun because they took him to learn to shoot.
“Will you shoot the gun with me?”
According to court documents, the boy had asked another classmate if he wanted to shoot the gun with him. The boy also boasted about having access to pills, wine, guns and alcohol. “Do you want pills? They drive the brain insane.” The boy also told classmates that he drinks alcohol when his parents aren’t home.
Ultimately, the boy was charged with carrying or possessing a firearm on school grounds and possessing a deadly weapon. His parents were accused of contributing to a minor’s delinquency and addiction.
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