Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

John Muir Fundamental Elementary

UPDATE: My son reports that many of the fifth graders in the classroom that included the pellet gun shooter knew the attack was coming – including the victim – but no one knew who the target was, and none of the students reported this to their teacher…

A sad story is developing at John Muir Fundamental Elementary School – one of the top schools in the Santa Ana Unified School District.

Apparently a fifth grader brought a pellet gun to school and waited for his victim to come his way.  The shooter is now suspended, for five days, while the Santa Ana School Police investigate the matter to determine what happened and if “criminal intent can be alleged and/or proven or whether this matter will be resolved administratively by the on site Administration along with concurrence by our Student Support Services division to address the behavior of the student(s) involved,” according to the SAUSD School Police Chief, David Valentin, who responded tonight to my queries, via email.

I am told that pellet guns, like BB guns, are not considered to be actual guns, when schools have to deal with these types of incidents.

I don’t know if the victim in this scenario was injured.  Pellet guns can cause major eye damage but don’t generally cause anything more than a small welt if someone is shot, accidentally or on purpose.

That said, according to California Penal Code 246.3 PC, BB and pellet guns are indeed firearms:

Negligent Discharge of a Firearm

A “firearm” is “any device, designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.”

A BB device is “any instrument that expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action.”

What makes this incident scary is the allegation of a student essentially lying in wait for another student.

I feel bad for both families involved in this matter.  One of my own sons was expelled from this same school many years ago, for emotional disturbances.  I am happy to report that he improved once he was registered in a private school under the SAUSD Special Education program and he is now doing great.  But we too had to deal with the same mess that the family of the boy with the pellet gun is going through now.  I would not wish that on anyone.

I have a nine year old at Muir Fundamental Elementary now.  He went to bed tonight at 10 pm because of the incredible amount of homework he and the other kids in the Muir GATE program have to contend with.  I am grateful he was not harmed by the child with the pellet gun.

Parents will I am sure demand that the boy with the pellet gun be expelled.  I can say from personal experience that if indeed this incident happened as described above (and I am told that an administrator at that school confirmed this incident to another parent) then yes a suspension won’t cut it.  But I do hope that the child in question and his family get the help they need.

What would compel a fifth grader to do something like this?  God only knows.  We live in scary times and there are a lot of kids who need more help than regular school teachers and administrators can provide.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

20 thoughts on “SAUSD School Police investigating pellet gun incident at Muir Elementary”
  1. My grandson, in the 5th grade at Muir, says that the pellet gun shooting victim did not know anything about the gun beforehand.

    1. My son got the info from another fourth grader who heard these details from his teacher. It is all somewhat murky as the school and the District have not yet acknowledged the incident.

  2. California Penal Code 246.3. (b) .. any person who willfully discharges a BB device in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury or death to a person is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year.

      1. “How does that apply to a fifth grader?”

        I do not say that the 5th grader should be jailed – but his act deserves much more than suspension – and more than expulsion. Two weeks in a “scared straight” juvenile incarceration simulation should help him get straight. And he should apologize and explain what he learned to the entire school, if he is allowed back into Muir. This is serious.

        1. Well, Muir is supposed to have zero tolerance for such actions. I agree that he should be expelled and I hope his parents are able to get him the help he needs. The SAUSD has a great partnership with the Olive Crest organization, which runs special ed schools for kids with these kinds of issues.

          Now if this was some kind of whack prank, then perhaps that will come out in the investigation and cooler heads will prevail…

          1. It comes down to intent. Was there criminal intent? Was it some kid on a prank mission?

            We just don’t know. I am not excusing anything. I just don’t know what really happened or what led to this.

            What I do know is that we brought the story to light and so perhaps at some point the District will let us know what the outcome of the investigation will be.

          2. Now bringing a gun to school and shooting a fellow student in the face could be a “prank.” You are whack Pedroza.

          3. Again the clear issue here is intent. Did the shooter mean to injure someone? Was he fooling around? Did he realize the gravity of his actions? We are talking about a fifth grader. These are kids. Not adults. The gun was a pellet gun, not a real gun.

            If he intended to cause harm, that is one thing. We will find out soon enough. There is a reason that police conduct these investigations. We don’t lynch people anymore junior – and we certainly shouldn’t judge this child absent the facts.

          4. not passing judgement pedroza – judgment is up to the authorities … bringing the gun to school is evidence enough for me .. the rest is discussion based on what we have learned tus far … excuses not accepted

          5. You’re still passing judgement based on circumstantial evidence. We simply won’t know the truth until the investigation is done. And even then we may remain in the dark if the District doesn’t announce their findings.

          6. I can assure you that concerned Muir parents will demand to know the outcome – no mushrooms in this family pedroza.

          7. “.. we may remain in the dark if the District doesn’t announce their findings.”

            That comment sounds to me like you are contented being a mushroom – “in the dark” – being fed bullshit.

            That is what is so annoying about debating with you pedroza – your circular argumentation – like a dog chasing it’s tail. I think that I will go back to ignoring you.

  3. In a different incident with a substitute teacher last week!! how come administration took all the class to principal office to be interrogated!! about another incident relating a substitute that supposedly hit,and verbally abuse the whole 1st graders class. We the public need to be inform of what is happening to our children!! Most kids were scared to be treated like if they were at fault!! How come no body released the teachers’s name or call the parents so they can be present during all that questioning to 1st graders. WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS PRINCIPAL? THIS KIDS ALSO HAVE PARENTS TO SPEAK UP FOR THEM!!!

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