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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

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

March 9, 2022 Updated Wed., March 9, 2022 at 7:54 p.m.

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

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.

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