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

Comments (35)
  1. Jess says:

    Scary!! I’m so glad someone saw it and WHERE ARE HIS PARENTS??!!

    1. Tan pup says:

      Seriously, do you really think this kid has any parental supervision? Hey, he’s in high school, old enough to take care of himself – right? Plus what’s the big deal – a gun in school. Heck, we have conceal and carry laws – why all the hub bub? Needless to say, with all the educational demonizing in this country, the poor kid was probably just trying to protect himself from all those evil civil servants getting paid astronomical salaries just to keep padding their pocket books and abuse those young minds with liberalisms.

      1. Shattered Image says:

        What does the concealed carry law have to do with anything here?

        What was your point in bringing that up please?

        1. soapboxgod says:

          Anyone who calls Minnesota’s law a “Conceal” carry law knows nothing about the law.

          A legal permit holder is not required to conceal their firearm though most do. It depends on the situation.

          1. Shattered Image says:

            This state is not a conceal and carry state. With a legal permit one can carry in the open in legal areas of carry.

            1. Shattered Image says:

              Another reason I love Wisconsin.

              Wisconsin is an “Open Carry” state, which means as long as I’m not banned from having a gun by being a convicted felon, or convicted domestic abuser, etc. I can carry a handgun on my hip without a license or any training.

              1. S I is a big black dummy says:

                What a schmo you are. Lay off the crack pipe Jasper, and go back and finish 5th grade already…

      2. AF says:

        haha isn’t that truth- I’d put money down says he’s been in trouble in the past. Why does he go to a different high school when his siblings go this particular one?
        At least noone was hurt in this situation.

        1. Monica says:

          Where does it say his siblings and he go to different schools? I must not have the part of the story…

          1. JamieinMN says:

            It states that in another article: “Moilanen says the teen attends another high school in Rochester, but has siblings at Mayo.”


            AF should’ve clarified that.

            1. Red Wing Winger says:

              To me, this likely means step-siblings or he has already been expelled from Mayo.

      3. Guy says:

        Since mommy was “IN THE CAR” with him; I would say YES! he has supervision.

        Has anyone on here heard of “Reading for Comprehension” … sheesh

        1. blackfrodown says:

          I’d a capped the gur

    2. Guy says:

      “Where are his parents”

      Don’t you know how to READ??

      “the student, who was already IN THE CAR WITH HIS MOTHER”

      MOTHER = PARENT (one; singular – yes – father??)


  2. Sarah in Outstate MN says:

    The area around Mayo HS has become a complete dump. I know a cop who works in Rochester and the SE side has gotten worse over the years.

  3. just sayin says:

    I fail to understand how the mother could even approve of him having a gun, when it stated the gun was on the floor of the car?!

    Aside from that, the comment above on conceal and carry:
    #1, he is 17.
    #2, please tell me any school that allows any weopon on premises.
    #3, you are stupid.

    1. Guy says:

      What is so earth shaking about a 17yo having a gun?
      It doesn’t sound like he threatened ANYONE with it.
      Yes; the kid was stupid for bringing it with him; but it sounds like
      he had it in the car & it got ACCIDENTALLY knocked out … and everyone paniced.

      1. nice says:

        Because as much as I think it’s fine to have your kids hunt and all, you don’t go hunting with a handgun.

        Let alone, the mother allowing the kid to bring it to school with him?

        I don’t even know why they’d allow kids to, outside of permits (hunting season) have guns under the legal age of purchase (21).

        1. Mallkom Shuhbozz says:

          Black folks aren’t much known for being hunters, except for when they hunt for crack or hunt for each other.

  4. Sarah in Outstate MN says:

    It’s possible he’s black or white or SE Asian. The area around Mayo HS is very mixed. SE Rochester has a very high crime rate.

    1. Chicago transplant says:

      Who the hell says they are from Chicago? Damn you Minnesotans are a bunch of bigots.

      And before you assume – I’m white, professionally employed, was recruited to your fine (ahem!) state, and am NOT on assistance…

      1. ifitsaguritsagur says:

        @ Chicago transplant:

        Just because your “chalky” doesn’t mean your white. Just because you have repeat clientele on the corner, doesn’t mean your professionally employed. Yes, you were recruited to this state ( by other free-loaders from Chicago) .. and yournot on assistance? …too damn lazy to fill out the paperwork huh?

  5. Hugh G Rection says:

    Let me tell you what. I will be packing heat when I go to the Minnesota State Fair. With the recent flash mobs beating whites I need a way to protect my family. I am a LEGAL and RESPONSIBLE gun owner, permit to carry and I have a a constitutional right to bear arms and protect myself and loved ones. This kid in school has no parental guidance or something and is far from legal and he needs to be punished for what he did. Guns don’t kill people bullets do.

    1. Shattered Image says:

      By the way, signs stating “This establishment bans guns on these premises” does NOT trump your right to carry a firearm in that establishment.

      1. soapboxgod says:

        If it’s a privately owned establishment it sure does. You do not have a right to enter a private establishment/business. You are privileged to enter a private establishment/business.

        As a permit holder myself, let’s remember our respect for private property.

        1. Mallkom Shuhbozz says:

          Not exactly accurate, sir.

          The law requires not only the signs, but also that a person confronted in a business who has a gun be explicitly informed in person that guns are illegal.

          So anyone can take a gun into any business, museum, or church which has the posted sign and they are not breaking any laws or trespassing. It is only if they were to refuse to leave after being told that guns were prohibited that the police might be called on a trespassing charge.

        2. Shattered Image says:

          soapboxgod, that is incorrect.

          The plain language of the law states a landlord may not restrict tenants or their guests from carrying.

          They can personally ask you to leave, because you are carrying, but you are not committing a crime by carrying when it’s posted that the landlord bans guns on the premises.

    2. Guy says:

      He DID have “parental guidance” – mommy was in the car next to him.

  6. Sarah in Outstate MN says:

    I forgot to add that SE Rochester has white gangs, black gangs, Somali gangs and SE Asian gangs. You normally won’t see them, but if you know a Rochester cop, which I do, they know exactly who gang members are and usually where to find them.

  7. Ranger01 says:

    The mother needs her head examined. She had to know her teen had a gun. The Mother needs to be slapped with manditory counciling, and evaluation by social services to determine if she is fit to be raising the 17 year old. Last I knew, it was not legal for a 17 year old to carry a hand gun?

    1. yes, as a fact I do know English says:

      So you’re wanting MORE government involvement in her life? I’m just checking since spelling and grammar don’t seem to be one of your strengths.

  8. Darrius Deontae Washington says:

    Ain’t no white kids named Devante. No Hispanics either. Guess what’s left? Originally from Chicago’s south side.

  9. Big Larry says:

    As a Chicago resident I like to thank Minnesota for having great welfare. It is very kind and neighborly to take on the financial burden we don’t want to pay as Illinois tax payers.

    1. Big Larry says:

      Since you have been so kind…and everyone in Chicago is aware of your enabling…Minnesota Niceness?…how about picking up the tab for bus fare? Thanks, again….did I mention our crime rate goes down with your generousity?

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