gun at PES

An innocent game of “hide-and-seek” among students at Patterson Elementary School turned up the loaded gun found on campus there Monday, February 8.

Patterson Police Chief Jason Strickland gave details about the discovery of the weapon on school campus after classes had dismissed last week, even as the investigation continues in to who the gun belongs to and how it got on campus.

“Students were playing a game of hide-and-seek after school when they saw the gun partially hidden and pulled it out to discover it was a gun,” Strickland said. “After they figured out it was a real gun, they did the right thing and reported it to an adult.”

The students promptly reported the discovery of the gun to a teacher, who then alerted PES Assistant Principal Amanda Lankford and PES Principal Teresa Dixon.

Dixon contacted School Resource Officer Sidney Dixon, Chief Strickland and School Superintendent Dara Bennett.

Interviews with the students were conducted and the firearm was photographed and collected by SRO Dixon.

Strickland said he and Dixon then conducted a sweep of the entire school as a safety precaution to make sure the building was safe for students to return to classes the following day.

“We did not find anything else on campus that would post a safety risk,” Strickland said. “There were no other firearms on campus.”

Chief Strickland declined additional comment citing the ongoing investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Patterson Police Department at 647-2117 or 911.