Denver Place School boy with BB gun may get charged, say Wilmington police

By Gary Huffenberger -

WILMINGTON — A fifth-grade Denver Place Elementary boy allegedly waved a BB handgun in the direction of other students as they walked home from school Wednesday, and the county’s juvenile court prosecutor will consider whether the incident merits a charge.

The boy, who is about 11, is not reported to have made any threatening comments toward the other children, but the BB gun he had is very realistic-looking, Wilmington Ptl. Mike Estle said Thursday morning.

One of the other children reports she was initially frightened by the boy’s gun, said Estle.

Police went to the home of the boy and confiscated the BB gun as evidence. Police also went to the homes of witnesses for interviews.

On Thursday morning, Estle said he could not prove the BB gun had been inside the school building earlier in the day, but he said the incident occurred not far from the elementary campus. The gun-waving did not occur on school grounds.

Estle said apparently an adult man saw the realistic-looking gun in the boy’s hand and told him to put it away, but he did not contact police. The police officer said a child with a realistic-looking gun should be reported to police immediately, so that witnesses are erring on the side of safety.

The boy might get charged with inducing panic, said the police officer.

Wilmington City Schools Superintendent Melinda “Mindy” McCarty-Stewart stated Thursday in a school safety email, “As a result of the incident, the parent was notified by school administration that the student was not permitted to be on school grounds during the police investigation and during the school discipline process.”

She added, “We are taking this matter seriously and we will take all measures necessary to keep the school environment safe. We will follow our Board Policies for the discipline of the student, including our suspension and expulsion process.”

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

By Gary Huffenberger