Spanaway teen arrested after allegedly pointing rifle at students; 300 rounds found near school

SPANAWAY, Wash. -- A 13-year-old boy was arrested after allegedly pointing a rifle at two middle school students Wednesday morning at a Spanaway bus stop.

According to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, the two middle school students were headed to Cedarcrest Middle School before 8 a.m. when they saw the boy with a rifle at the bus stop near 172nd St E & 10th Ave E.

When the students arrived at school, they immediately reported the incident to school officials who contacted the sheriff's department. School staff brought the suspected student to the school office and asked him about the weapon. The unarmed student then tried to run away, but he was chased by school staff and caught before leaving the building, deputies said.

The student told deputies several different stories about where he got the weapon and why he had it, authorities said.

Investigators located the weapon concealed in a backpack in some bushes near the bus stop, located just blocks away from Evergreen Elementary School. They found the rifle, around 300 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition and several rounds of .44 caliber ammunition, deputies said.

Deputies determined that the student had stolen the rifle from his grandfather's gun safe.

Two other firearms, a handgun and another rifle, were also missing from the safe. Deputies are currently searching for the missing firearms.

Authorities said the student has been suspended from school several times, and investigators are still working to figure out why the student had the gun.

The 13-year-old was booked in to Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center on one count of Minor in Possession of a Weapon and two counts of Felony Harassment for pointing the rifle at the two students.

Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said the two students who reported the boy with the rifle should be commended.

“The heroes in this incident are the two students who kept their wit and immediately reported the incident to the school. School staff should be commended for their quick action in finding and detaining the suspect even after he tried to run,” Pastor said.