Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 46° Partly Cloudy
News >  Crime/Public Safety

12-year-old arrested after staff allegedly found loaded revolver in student’s backpack at Willard Elementary

UPDATED: Wed., March 9, 2022

Spokane police arrested a 12-year-old student Wednesday at Willard Elementary School in the Garland District after school staff allegedly discovered a loaded revolver in the student’s backpack.

School officials received information a student was in possession of a firearm at the school, 500 W. Longfellow Ave., around 11 a.m., according to a Spokane Police Department news release. Staff found the gun, officers responded and the student was taken to juvenile detention on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds.

It does not appear any students were threatened with the firearm, and the motive for the student’s conduct is unknown, officers said.

Principal Ronni Galeener addressed the incident in a message to Willard Elementary families.

“We will continue to ensure safety is the top priority of our schools and address any situation with an abundance of caution,” Galeener wrote.

She said school officials encourage anyone who witnesses suspicious activity or knows of someone in an unsafe situation to call (509) 354-7233, or report it by text or email at safeline@spokaneschools.org.

Although it appears no threats were made Wednesday, a few serious threats caused local schools to close last year.

Adam McCarty, 18, threatened to kill another student at University High School on Nov. 5. McCarty was arrested and later pleaded guilty to harassment. He spent 61 days in jail, with the rest of his 364-day sentence suspended.

A few days later, a Medical Lake teenager was arrested after authorities said he built bombs in his bedroom and wanted to “test it out at school,” according to court documents.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.