Reporting Deputy: Sergeant Brandi Swan
File # C223060008
On November 2, 2022, at 10:10 AM, deputies from the Thermal Station responded to a report of a student in possession of a handgun at a school in the 86100 block of 66th Avenue in Thermal. Deputies were contacted by school administrators that a male juvenile student at the school was seen with a firearm at the bus stop in Thermal before loading the bus and coming to school. Students at the bus stop reported the incident to school administrators upon their arrival at school and identified the same student as posting a picture with a handgun on a social media site the night before. School administrators contacted the student and called the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
When deputies arrived at the school, they spoke with the student who indicated he had passed the firearm off to another student at the same school. The second student was contacted and he admitted to placing the firearm inside a backpack in his classroom. A search of the backpack revealed a firearm. While retrieving the firearm, an item that looked as if it was a grenade was seen inside the same backpack. Out of an abundance of caution, all students and staff on the school property were evacuated. Students were eventually bussed to other schools to be released to family members.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Hazardous Device Team responded to the location and bomb technicians conducted an inspection of the object using x-ray equipment. The object was determined to be a toy with no threat to students or school staff. The school was deemed safe, the evacuations were lifted, and the campus was reopened.
School officials worked cooperatively with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department having the best interest of the children in mind. The students and staff will always be a top priority and deputies were prepared with the resources necessary for any emergency.
The two 13-year-old male students were arrested and booked into Indio Juvenile Hall for minor in possession of a handgun and possession of a firearm within a school zone.
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