Gun taken from student at Natomas High
The parents of a Natomas High School student who brought a loaded gun to school Tuesday morning were arrested after police reported finding several firearms at their home, Sacramento police said.
Officials said a 15-year-old freshman male student walked into a classroom and pulled a loaded gun out of a backpack. He brandished it before saying he wanted to harm himself. The student added that he did not want to harm students or staff.
Police said the 9-millimeter handgun belonged to the boy’s father. The youth’s father, Andrew Hicks, 38, and his mother, Maria Hicks, also 38, were arrested after police served a search warrant at the home and found several other firearms, according to a Police Department news release.
The teacher in the classroom tried to calm the student, said Jim Sanders, Natomas Unified spokesman. She asked if she could clear the room of students and he allowed them to leave.
Principal Yuri Penermon arrived at the classroom and helped to defuse the situation, Sanders said. The teacher, who was not identified, continued to calm the distraught student, and after a few minutes the situation was resolved.
“The student handed the gun to the teacher, and that is how the incident ended,” Sanders said. “The Police Department subsequently took him into custody.”
Sanders said he did not know why the student was agitated.
He was arrested and taken to Sacramento County juvenile hall, according to Sgt. Bryce Heinlein, police spokesman. He faces two charges: assault with a deadly weapon and bringing a gun on campus, Heinlein said.
Once the student was detained, police said, officers visited his residence to check on his family’s welfare. All family members were accounted for and found safe. Detectives responded to the house to assist in the investigation and that’s when the firearms were discovered, police said.
Andrew and Maria Hicks were arrested on suspicion of possession of an assault weapon. Andrew Hicks also is accused of child endangerment, according to police.
Sanders called the actions of the teacher and the principal heroic. “We are proud of them,” he said.
The teacher did not want to comment on the morning’s events.
“Clearly, it was a traumatic experience for her,” Sanders said. “She also wants the student to receive any type of mental health help that he needs.”
Natomas Unified increased the number of adult supervisors and counselors on campus, Sanders said. He noted that students bringing a firearm onto campus can face immediate expulsion.
Bee staff writer Cathy Locke contributed to this report.