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Motive unclear in Gilroy High pellet gun attack

Police and school officials are still trying to determine what
fueled a confrontation that resulted in a 13-year-old firing
several rounds from a pellet gun into a group of Gilroy High School
students.
GILROY – Police and school officials are still trying to determine what fueled a confrontation that resulted in a 13-year-old firing several rounds from a pellet gun into a group of Gilroy High School students Wednesday morning on a crowded street across from the school.

Although no one was seriously injured in the incident, school personnel remained on a heightened level of security while the juvenille faces charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon. If convicted, the boy could be sentenced to two to four years in juvenile hall and be fined up to $10,000 fine, according to police.

Police are not releasing the name or booking status of the suspect because he is a juvenile, but they did confirm the boy is not enrolled in any district school and that he lives near Gilroy High School.

Police also said the incident was not gang-related.

“The part we’re really looking into is what happened to spark this confrontation,” GHS Principal Bob Bravo said. “At first the kids were telling us it was random, but now it sounds like there had been a previous confrontation earlier in the morning.”

The school’s eight security guards were warned to be extra-vigilant, although police do not plan any increased patrols near the school.

The confrontation began shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday when a group of four male and one female Gilroy High students met with a group comprised of the gunman, a district student who does not attend GHS and two female GHS students, according to police.

After a brief exchange of words, the 13-year-old brandished the gun from his pants and fired six to seven rounds into the group from a close distance, grazing two students’ pants and hitting another near the ankle, according to police.

The pistol’s air cartridge made it more powerful than most BB guns, police said.

School supervisors immediately alerted Mike Terasaki, the Gilroy Police Department’s School Resource Officer, who quickly questioned witnesses. Minutes later Terasaki apprehended the suspect on Glenview Court, where he had hidden the gun underneath a parked car.

The victim of the shooting, a GHS freshman, was treated at the scene and then taken by his parents to get the pellet lodged in his ankle removed.