MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The grandfather of the 13-year-old officers say made a threat at his school in Vadnais Heights is outraged at the way the case is being handled.
And the mayor of Vadnais Heights says he has questions about the investigation, too. Ramsey County Deputies say they seized a large collection of guns, ammunition and an explosive device from the child’s home.
They’ve charged the 13-year-old’s parents and they are in jail , the child is in custody too. Officers say they searched the house after the boy made a threat to another student at his school last week.
Ramsey County deputies showed presented photos of weapons and more than a thousand rounds of ammunition to a crowd of photographers and reporters Friday evening, suggesting a possible crisis had been averted.
“We believe that there is no threat to the school of the students thanks to the work of Ramsey County deputies,” Sheriff Jack G. Serier said Friday evening at a news conference.
The boy was taken into custody, along with his parents — much to the dismay of his grandfather, Mark Stowe, who says the guns were “absolutely” stored properly and safely.
He’s in California caring for his sister who is teminally ill, but lives part of the year with his son and grandson. He says many of the guns inside the home are his.
“As the years go by, we pick up other guns, we exchange guns, we sell guns — we’re not a dealer,” he said. “That’s four generations of family heirlooms. Some of those guns go back to 1874. We don’t leave them in piles on the floor, trust me.”
Stowe says the guns stay in safes. He also believes there was no real threat. He says his grandson has autism, and made a threat based on a scene from a cartoon episode.
He says school administrators suspended the boy for two days and the family thought it was resolved, until officers came in.
“I think that every threat needs to be taken seriously, and ‘taken seriously’ should have meant if the sheriff’s department contact the principal at the school where this all started, and that never happened. They acted on hearsay.” he said. “Civil liberties have been violated, and we’re talking lawsuit.”
The mayor of Vadnais Heights and former Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher is also questioning his former department, saying he understands why deputies are investigating but — based on the information he is getting — isn’t clear why they boy’s parents are in custody.
The current Ramsey County Sheriff says they have, and will continue to conduct, a thorough investigation.
Stowe says he’s been asked why the family has so many guns. He says it’s because three generations have been collecting them for 70 years.