Boy arrested in middle school shooting

SEATTLE - After a night on the run, a 13-year-old boy accused of firing a bullet into the ceiling in his summer school cafeteria surrendered quietly Tuesday at his grandparents' home.

The boy spent the night after the Monday incident ''hunkered down in woods'' near his grandparents' home about 10 miles south of Seattle, King County sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart said.

No one was injured in the shooting Monday at nearby Dimmitt Middle School.

The boy, identified by the county prosecutor's office as Josh Warnock, was booked into juvenile detention for investigation of assault with a firearm and reckless endangerment, prosecutor's spokesman Dan Donohoe said.

Warnock also may be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, Donohoe said. The boy's initial court hearing was set for Wednesday.

Warnock led sheriff's deputies Tuesday to the spot in the woods where he had left the .22-caliber handgun allegedly used in the incident, Urquhart said. The handgun was believed to have been taken from the grandparents' home, the spokesman said.

Witnesses said Warnock climbed onto a table in the cafeteria, fired a single shot from a handgun and ordered the more than 50 students inside onto a stage. Instead, the students fled the room.

Tuesday's classes were canceled, and Renton School District administrators were meeting with staff to determine what sort of counseling Dimmitt students should receive, district secretary Becky Nichols said.

Warnock was described as an outgoing, usually responsible student who had landed in summer school after getting behind in his classwork. But classmates said he had taken a dark turn recently.

Brittany Lamb, 14, told the South County Journal of Kent that Warnock had been talking about shooting a teacher and committing suicide afterward, before police could capture him.

''My friends and I didn't really think he'd do that,'' Lamb said. ''A lot of people knew he was talking about it, but they didn't say anything because they didn't think he would really do it. People say dumb stuff like that all the time,'' she said.

Warnock was shown on KIRO-TV walking out of his grandparents' home in handcuffs, wearing a Detroit Pistons T-shirt. He was described after the incident Monday as dressed in black, with blond hair dyed blue at the ends. But Tuesday, his blond hair was cut short and neat with no coloring apparent. The tall, athletic-looking youth stared straight ahead and did not speak to accompanying deputies.

Urquhart said it was fortunate no students were harmed in the incident.

''Right now it's every police officer's nightmare - kids with guns in school,'' he said, noting the gun was pointed in one girl's face during the incident.

''This worked out OK this time, because they all got out of the building and no one was hurt,'' he said. ''Whether that's a functioning of any training they're receiving, or adrenaline, or that he just didn't fire more shots, we don't know.''

District officials had stepped up evacuation drills for students recently, in part because of highly publicized school shootings such as the one at Columbine High School in Colorado last year.

Nichols said the school district established a hotline several years ago to allow people to anonymously report weapons or threats in schools, but no students had reported Warnock.

''This kid had talked to other kids about what his plans were, and they hadn't told anybody,'' Urquhart said.


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