Unloaded handgun found at Patti Welder Middle School

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Jan. 22, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Updated Jan. 22, 2014 at 7:23 p.m.

A Patti Welder Middle School student was taken into custody Wednesday by authorities after bringing an unloaded handgun to campus.

Victoria County Sheriff's Office school resource officers immediately removed the student after they learned about the gun.

No one was injured.

School administrators were tipped off about 12:30 p.m. by other students reporting the seventh-grade student's weapon, said Diane Boyett, Victoria school district communications director.

The student also had ammunition.

"It happened in a matter of minutes," Boyett said. "We're very pleased that the students stepped forward and did the right thing."

Patti Welder students were sent home with letters, and the school district sent out an automated message to VISD parents via Edulink about 4:30 p.m. informing them about the incident.

A letter also was posted on the district's website.

Patti Welder parent Monica Cordova, 35, said she was upset that the administration did not call parents as soon as the incident was reported.

"They should have called to me earlier," Cordova said. "Not hours later."

Cordova's nephew was visiting the campus along with other fifth-grade students as part of the district's Fifth Grade Transition Camp when the student with the gun was apprehended.

Cordova also has a son who attends Patti Welder.

He was too upset to comment, Cordova said.

"Last time, when there was a suspicious backpack on campus in the parking lot, they called us then and there," Cordova said.

Esperanza Cantu, 14, said she was shocked to hear the news.

"I didn't hear about it until my last class of the day," said Esperanza, an eighth-grader at Patti Welder. "I was more mad that our principals didn't make us go into lockdown than I was about the student."

Boyett said the student was outside on the school's athletic field when authorities detained him.

The assembly and classroom instruction went on uninterrupted, she said, and the 13-year-old student's motivation is unknown.

Lt. Thomas Eisman of the Victoria County Sheriff's Office said because the case is under investigation, information about what type of handgun was brought to campus and where it was located could not be released.



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