Police: Student brought starter gun to school

Ortiz Middle School
Ortiz Middle School

SANTA FE (KRQE) – The student that brought a gun to a Santa Fe middle school has been suspended. Police say the gun is a starter gun or one commonly used in racing. Classes went on as scheduled at Ortiz Middle School Friday and parents are speaking out about what happened.

“I was very scared,” Luis Chavez said. “My son sent me a message he told me I’m very nervous and I didn’t know what happened inside.”

Police say a student told a security guard a classmate had a gun in their backpack Thursday afternoon.

They later determined that gun was a “starter gun,” a gun that fires blanks and is often used as a prop or to initiate races. Police say it was not loaded in this case, adding it looks real, is made of metal and the chamber spins like an actual revolver.

It’s unclear at this time where the student got the gun or why they had it at the school. Police say there was no intent to harm anyone. The student was taken into custody and questioned by police but is not facing charges. The district isn’t releasing the student’s name, gender or grade but they do tell KRQE News 13 they’ve been suspended. Police are working with CYFD and the county’s youth development program to get the student help.

In the heat of the moment Thursday, the school was put on lockdown and armed officers took students to the nearby Law Enforcement Academy. This had parents concerned and asking why the evacuations were done.

“You never know what else is going on,” Santa Fe police spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said.

“You don’t know the reason for why that student brought the gun in the first place, if there are other people working with that student, if there are weapons hidden throughout the campus, who might have knowledge of what kind of situation is going on. It’s ever-evolving and ever changing as we look at that scenario.”

Early Friday morning, News 13 noticed a pair of uniformed officers arriving at the school. Police say they are doing follow-ups interviews and answering any questions that staff and students at the school may have. Three other students were detained Thursday but it was for a different incident. It was over a fight and all three were let go.

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