Shooting scare at bus stop
September 6, 2002
A pistol pointed at a group of students waiting at their Carson City bus stop Thursday morning turned out to be a pellet gun. The only ammunition fired was air.
But parents and school officials are not considering it a harmless prank.
“A gun is a gun,” said David McClelland, father of two boys at the bus stop. “This is very serious. This is a real weapon and the kids take this to heart.”
Three teenage boys drove by the bus stop at Fifth Street and Pasture Drive in a burgundy Chevy Blazer at 7:50 a.m. One of the passengers allegedly grabbed a pellet gun from inside the vehicle and fired blasts of air three times at two children waiting for the bus to Fremont Elementary School.
The children notified a parent who called police. Officers initially reported it as a drive-by shooting.
“All I know is I got a call this morning from the principal telling me someone shot at the kids at my sons’ bus stop,” McClelland said. “It really bewilders me that they would pull something like this. I strongly blame the parents.”
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The children identified the Blazer, which was later found at Carson High School. The shooter was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace and annoyance of a minor, both misdemeanors.
Fred Perdomo, Carson High vice principal, said the two campus officers, Ray Guzman and Scott Davis, made the process run smoothly.
“It’s amazing how well the police department and school work together now that we have officers on campus,” he said. “It’s a much less intimidating environment when students are talking to someone they know.”
Superintendent Mary Pierczynski said school officials also are investigating the incident and will decide what disciplinary action to take.
“For every parent and for every school employee, this is their worst nightmare,” she said. “Luckily, no children were hurt. But, my goodness, what a terrible thing to have happen.”
McClelland said he is looking for strict punishment.
“We’re going to really need to see some action taken by community leaders or they should step out of their positions.”
Jan Sullivan, principal of Fremont Elementary School, said the children from the bus stop were sent to class as usual, except for the two who were interviewed by police, and were given access to the school counselor.
“We try to maintain that normalcy for kids,” she said. “Otherwise, you invoke panic. We don’t want to create undue stress.”