Reporting Susie Jones
ROCHESTER, Minn. (WCCO) – A 17-year-old Rochester student is facing charges after police say he brought a loaded handgun to school.
“It definitely could have turned out a lot differently,” said Lt. Casey Moilanen.
Devante Atkins, 17, is accused of bringing the gun to school as students were getting their class schedules for the year. Atkins was charged Wednesday with three felonies and two gross misdemeanors by the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office in connection with the incident. The felonies include dangerous weapons on school property, minor in possession of a weapon and obstructing the legal process. The misdeameanors included fourth-degree assault and fleeing a police officer, according to a criminal complaint.
“It doesn’t appear that he brought the gun to school to use it on anyone,” Moilanen said.
According to a criminal complaint, a witness told police that at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, she saw a male sitting in a vehicle in the school parking lot that dropped a gun on the school’s pavement. The parent helper saw the gun and told the officer, who went out to confront the student, who was already in the car with his mother.
“The officer sees a gun on the floor of the vehicle, the suspect grabs for the gun, and then a struggle ensues,” Moilanen said.
The complaint states the officer struggled with Atkins in an attempt to take the gun from him, and the gun fell to the pavement. Atkins was able to get to his feet, retrieve the gun and flee from the officer. The officer drew their weapon and repeatedly yelled at Atkins to stop, but he fled with several officers in pursuit. Officers eventually found him and arrested him at a residence on the 900 block of 13 1/2 Street SE.
He did not have the gun on him when he was arrested, according to the complaint, but it was later found in the backyard of a family residence. Moilanen said the officer used great restraint by not firing at the teenager.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports