Gun cartridge found on bus; where it came from unknown

by Mike Lesko | reporter Published:

Aurora -- An unfired .22-caliber gun cartridge was found Dec. 14 on an Aurora school bus, but no one was injured, no weapon was found and no one was thought to be in danger, Superintendent Russ Bennett said.

Bennett said an elementary school student found the cartridge on the floor of the bus at about 9 a.m.

He said as a precautionary measure, the school staff reviewed the video tapes on the bus and with the cooperation of Aurora police, they searchedstudents, lockers and personal bookbags of all the students in grades 6 to 12 who ride that bus. He said about 50 students were searched.

"Nothing was found that would cause concern," he said. "No weapons were found, and at no time do we believe any students were in danger."

Bennett shared the information with residents on an automated recorded call "so that no rumors begin, to let [residents] know what happened and how we dealt with the incident, and to keep [residents] informed.

"I thank the Aurora police and my administrative team for their diligence in this effort.

"We're glad everything turned out well, but it's unfortunate we had to go through the process at all. It was another opportunity that showed how well our schools and police department work together."

Police Chief Seth Riewaldt described the object found as an "unfired cartridge," but was unsure where it came from.

"It could have fallen out of someone's pocket," he said. "It could have been on the floor for weeks. It's something that we might never determine."

Bennett added the fact that the incident occurred on the same day as the school shootings in Connecticut "really caused a lot of stress on all of us."

Bennett said people with more information about the cartridge incident should call the Aurora Police Department at 330-562-8181.

Meanwhile, Bennett said earlier this week the schools plan more police visibility this week "just to help quell concerns as a result of the Connecticut issue."

Riewaldt said several officers were on hand at the schools the morning of Dec. 17 when students arrived.

"In fact an officer was assigned to the bus where the cartridge was found, and rode with the students," he explained. "Officers interacted with kids and very few of the kids expressed any concerns about the cartridge's discovery or the incident in Connecticut.

"We're fortunate that we have a resource officer in the schools now. She's been very helpful."

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187

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