DA's office to look at preschool gun incident

Friday's handgun incident with a preschool boy could still lead to possible criminal charges, Deputy District Attorney David Waite said Wednesday.

"Once I have an opportunity to review reports, a decision will be made on who, if anybody, we need to charge," Waite said.

That decision could be as early as today depending on what further interviews or investigation might be needed, he added.

Waite said his initial review of the case -- a telephone conversation with an officer after the Friday morning incident -- covered early-established facts and possible scenarios for prosecution.

"I don't know if charges fit," Waite said.

Moffat County Sheriff's investigators have said there was no malicious intent, or evidence of threats by a five-year-old boy who brought his father's .357 Ruger handgun to the Moffat County Early Childhood Coalition Friday.

The loaded weapon was found in the boy's backpack after he told a female peer about it -- information passed on to a teacher before classes had started that morning.

He was sent home and returned to school Tuesday, said Sarah Hepworth, preschool director.

"The best thing for him would be to get back in the routine," Hepworth said.

She said staff remains shaken by the incident, but it hasn't appeared to have affected the students. Nor have there been discussions about it.

"Friday was a long time ago for them," she said. "They can't hardly remember what they ate yesterday, let alone five days ago."

Investigators have said the boy found the weapon, which was left under the seat of his father's truck. It was left there after target practice the previous weekend, according to police.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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