Las Vegas elementary student found with handgun at school

A 9-year-old male student at Helen Smith Elementary was referred to social services Wednesday after bringing an unloaded handgun and ammunition to school, police said. It was the ninth reported firearm incident in the Clark County School District this school year.

School district police Capt. Roberto Morales said the student showed the handgun to another student in the morning. A third student overheard the discussion and reported it to a teacher, he said.

Officials found an unloaded .22-caliber gun in the student’s backpack, with bullets and an ammunition magazine, Morales said. No threats were made, he said.

Morales said the child was not arrested but was referred to social services at The Harbor, a county-run juvenile assessment center.

“(Child Protective Services) will be involved because we do believe the firearm came from home,” he said.

Morales said the fact that another student reported the incident to officials at the Las Vegas school at 7101 Pinedale Ave. shows the district’s campaign for youngsters and parents to “see something, say something” is working.

“Another student saw something and reported it immediately to a teacher,” Morales said. “The teacher immediately reported it to administration. They put the child and the backpack into a secure area and called us for a response.”

Expulsion required

The student will be expelled — which state law requires when a gun is brought onto school property — but will not be referred to a behavioral or alternative school, according to Assistant Superintendent Tammy Malich.

That’s because the district does not have an alternative school for elementary-aged students.

John “Jack” Martin, director of The Harbor, said he could not comment about the case. But he said that if a case of a child bringing a gun to school was referred to his staff members, they would try to find out where the child got the weapon and why he or she decided to bring it on campus. And the Harbor staff would recommend what services the child could receive to correct the behavior.

“Taking a 9-year-old to juvenile detention, I don’t think that would help them,” Martin said. “There are literally hundreds of things that could be going on, and we want to look at the most pressing. And we want to make sure we put guards in place to address those things.”

Smith Elementary Principal Robert Hinchliffe reminded parents in a letter that they can face charges if they allow their children unsupervised access to their weapons.

“This situation serves as a reminder for all of our families to know that no weapons, including toy weapons, are permitted anywhere on our school campus, as we take the personal safety of each and every student very seriously,” the letter stated.

Parents could face charges

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson’s office has brought charges against parents when a child obtained a gun and fired it, including a case last year when the parents of 4-year-old Bradley Whitis were charged with child abuse after he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But, Wolfson said, he couldn’t recall an instance when his office has charged parents for a child bringing a gun to school.

Bringing charges in such a situation would depend on the circumstances, such as where the child acquired the weapon and the accessibility of that weapon, he said.

That will be determined when investigators “follow up along the chain of evidence to determine whether or not there is responsibility on the part of the adult because that child got the weapon from somewhere,” Wolfson said. He added that his office would consider charges if the police investigation pointed to parental neglect.

The most recent previous incident involving a gun on campus occurred Tuesday, when a Del Sol High School student brought a BB gun to school. School district police have been involved in six other seizures of loaded weapons on or near campuses during the school year, which began on Aug. 13. One involved a family member who allegedly pulled a gun to break up a fight outside Chaparral High School in Las Vegas, and the rest involved students.

Also, North Las Vegas police are investigating the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old student at Canyon Springs High after school on Sept. 11.

Contact Amelia Pak-Harvey at or 702-383-4630. Follow @AmeliaPakHarvey on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writers Michael Scott Davidson and Mike Shoro contributed to this report.

Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece. (@FlightAlerts_)
Park Service plans ahead for lower lake levels
National Park Service releases new plans to maintain access to the water as Lake Mead continues to shrink.
Women claim abuse at Florence McClure Women's Correctional Facility
Current and ex-inmates, including Merry West, are suing Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility, claiming abuse and inadequate medical care. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Butte County Sheriff's Office Body Cam Footage
Bodycam video from Butte County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office Deputy Aaron Parmley, who was in Paradise November 8 helping with evacuations. (Butte County Sheriff's Office)
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 106
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 160, near Mt. Potosi Road, in Clark County as part of a $59 million, 6-mile-long highway widening project that began this summer. (Nevada Department of Transportation)
Car crashes into Papa Murphy's Pizza shop
A driver crashed a car into a western Las Vegas Valley pizza shop on Tuesday morning, police said. (Joe Stanhibel/Special to Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Low-lake-level pumping station nears completion
Barnard Construction and the Southern Nevada Water Authority give one last tour before the new low-lake-level pumping station is activated.
Trailer: Valley of Fires
Sultan’s Playroom from Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada’s Scott Rosenzweig talks about granting Sultan Bouras Souissi’s wish, and what went into building it. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jim Marsh brings historic replica of rural church to Amargosa Valley
Jim Marsh talks during the opening of the Chapel at Longstreet, a replica of an 1874 Catholic church built in the mining town of Belmont, Nev., at Marsh's Longstreet Casino in Amargosa Valley, Nev. Chase Stevens/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like