Children of the Gun Culture
October 25, 2013
Rod Bastunmehr / AlterNet & Natasha Lennard / AlterNet
An 11-year-old, middle-school student in Vancouver, Washington, accused of bringing a handgun to school, along with 400 rounds of ammunition and several knives, was arrested by police on Wednesday night. Just days after a 12-year-old boy in Nevada shot dead his math teacher and himself with a handgun, officers in Sonoma County, Calif., shot dead 13-year-old Andy Lopez as he walked home from school carrying a toy rifle.
11-Year-Old Arrested for Bringing
Gun and Ammunition to School
Rod Bastunmehr / AlterNet
(October 24, 2013) -- An 11-year-old, middle-school student in Vancouver, Washington, accused of bringing a handgun to school, along with 400 rounds of ammunition and several knives, was arrested by police on Wednesday night. The arrest came after police recovered the weapons and ammunition earlier in the day at Frontier Middle School.
The boy, whose name won't be released to the press due to his age, was interviewed by detectives and arrested while police investigate of one count of attempted murder, police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said in a statement. Officers responded to a tip that ammunition was found at the school at around 9:30 a.m.
Once the police located the ammunition and multiple weapons, the middle school and adjacent elementary school, were placed in a two-hour lockdown.
It is estimated that 1,500 students attend the two schools combined.
The arrest comes in the wake of the deadly Sparks Middle School shooting in Nevada, in which a 12-year-old reportedly shot a teacher dead, wounded two classmates, and then took his own life. He had brought the gun from home and his parents may face criminal charges for failing to prevent access to such a deadly weapon. Bullying is said to have been a potential motive in the shooting.
Vancouver, Washington police continue to investigate the case of the heavily armed 11-year-old, and how he obtained his weapons.
California Cops Shoot and
Kill 13-Year-Old Carrying Toy Rifle
Natasha Lennard / AlterNet
(October 24, 2013) -- Officers in Sonoma County, Calif., shot dead 13-year-old Andy Lopez Tuesday as he walked home from school carrying a toy rifle.
Just days after a 12-year-old boy in Nevada shot dead his math teacher and himself with an all-too-real handgun, the Sonoma incident reflects not only a troubling epidemic of trigger-happy policing, but a context wherein a young boy carrying a toy rifle is assumed to be carrying a real weapon. Rania Khalek, who highlighted  the incident on her blog, questioned "whether or not race played a factor in the decision to shoot."
Khalek reported on the details of the shooting, as put forward by the police account. The police version of events fails to make clear the time frame of events, or how long the police waited before opening fire on a child carrying a toy:
According to Lt. Dennis O'Leary, two deputies on patrol spotted a "male subject" walking in the area carrying what they believed to be a rifle, at which point they called for backup and told him to drop the weapon.
"At some point immediately thereafter, the deputies fired several rounds from their handguns at the subject, striking him several times," O'Leary said, adding that Lopez fell down and "landed on top of the rifle he was carrying." But they didn't stop there.
Though Lopez was unresponsive and bleeding out, the officers handcuffed him before administering first aid and calling the paramedics. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The shooting is being investigated by Santa Rosa police, Petaluma police and the Sonoma County district attorney's office.
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