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2 Madison Teens Arrested After Allegedly Firing Pellet Gun On School Bus

1 Student Brought Gun Into Jefferson Middle School, Officials Say

Madison school district
Michelle Johnson/WPR

Police in Madison have arrested two 13-year-old boys they believe fired a pellet gun on a school bus and brought the weapon into Jefferson Middle School.

Police said one of the boys fired the gun out of a bus window Tuesday afternoon, striking a girl who had just got off.

School security staffers intercepted the boy as he arrived at school Wednesday morning and arrested him. Meanwhile, another student brought the gun into the school. He was also arrested.

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Jefferson’s principal, Tequila Kurth, sent parents an email Tuesday night about the pellet gun incident.

“At this time we do not have any reason to believe the student intended to harm anyone with it. Nevertheless, we take this issue very seriously and we are following up with the student and the student’s family,” she wrote.

Clare Voeks is the mother of two seventh graders at the middle school. After school Wednesday, she said she’s unsettled and frustrated by the incident, and doesn’t feel like her children are safe. She plans to talk about it with them.

“It’s imperative that kids understand what’s going on, they understand the dangers, they understand that it’s their responsibility to keep themselves as safe as they possibly can,” Voeks said.

The boy who allegedly shot the pellet gun was arrested on charges of second-degree reckless endangering safety and resisting arrest, according to the police incident report. The boy who police said had the pellet gun in his backpack was arrested for possession of a weapon on school grounds.

Joel DeSpain, Madison Police Department’s public information officer, said the investigation is ongoing and further charges are possible. He said students bringing these guns to school isn’t new.

“This is not the first case we’ve had that is like this one. Now, having someone firing a BB gun out of a school bus window, that’s a little more unusual,” DeSpain said.

This week has been marked by shooting incidents at other schools around Wisconsin. On Monday, a police officer shot a Waukesha South High School student who allegedly pointed a pellet gun at another student’s head and at officers. Hours later, at Waukesha North High School, another student was arrested for possession of a firearm. On Tuesday, another police officer shot a student in Oshkosh.

“Young people, I think, sometimes don’t realize that possessing a lookalike gun, whether it’s a BB gun or a pellet gun, can really put their lives in danger,” DeSpain said. “As we saw earlier this week, if they were to point one of these facsimile firearms at a police officer, they may be met with deadly force, because the police officer does not know in that moment whether or not that that’s a real gun.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional reporting by WPR.

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