15-year-old accused of pointing loaded gun at student in Jonesboro school


JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) — Jonesboro police arrested a 15-year-old boy Wednesday after they say he pointed a loaded handgun at another student in a school bathroom.

According to the police report, the incident happened around 2 p.m. Jan. 4 at The Academies at Jonesboro High School.

The 17-year-old victim told police when he entered the restroom, the suspect reached into his pocket, pulled out a firearm, and pointed it at him “as though he would shoot him.”

The suspect “then pulled the slide on the firearm back and showed (the victim) that the gun was loaded,” the report said.

The victim told investigators the suspect, who police did not identify due to his age, “laughed and stepped away from him, so he left the restroom.”

The victim reported the incident to school officials who notified Officer Rayonica Thomas.

Thomas and a school official found the suspect in a classroom and escorted him to the office. Thomas reportedly searched the boy and found a “Jennings .22 caliber pistol in the right pocket of basketball shorts he had on underneath his joggers.”

“I removed the firearm and removed the magazine,” Thomas stated in her report. “I then ejected a bullet out of the chamber.”

After finding the weapon and six hollow-point bullets, the officer arrested the suspect and took him to the Craighead County Juvenile Detention Center, where he was booked on a charge of possession of a firearm on school property and aggravated assault.

“Students, teachers, administrators, everyone plays a role in safety,” said Todd Nelson, director of safety and security for Jonesboro Public Schools.

Safety is a term used a lot in school settings.

Especially when an incident like what happened at The Academies at Jonesboro High School Wednesday.

“What we don’t know was what his intent was. Whether it would be to scare another student or be playing,” said Nelson.

Parents are now concerned about the safety of their students once dropped off. Some asked if metal detectors will be placed at the entrances of Jonesboro schools.

Nelson said that idea has come up, but after speaking with other districts there are a number of drawbacks.

“What they found is that it is very labor intensive and time intensive,” he said. “And trying to get students in the building, in class, on time, with the sufficient number of people work through those lines is a challenge.”

Nelson said the biggest idea following this incident is to make sure students feel comfortable going to leaders in the building or district.

He said disciplinary actions for the student who brought the gun will be decided by the school board and the student handbook.

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