BRECKENRIDGE HILLS, Mo. – A Ritenour High School student was charged Wednesday after police said he brought a handgun and several bullets to school.
St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez said the student, identified as 17-year-old Jaylen Ashby, was bullied by at least four other students in a local fast food restaurant over the weekend. Police said before Ashby ran away, he indicated he had something for them, apparently meaning the gun.
Parents at Ritenour High School admitted being frightened at afternoon pickup.
“Kids ain’t safe; nobody’s safe no more,” said one woman.
Both police and school officials said because of the trusting relationship they’ve developed with students, some of them came forward to report Ashby may be bringing a gun to Ritenour.
As he entered the building, the school resource officer and assistant principal brought Ashby into an office where they said he admitted there was this handgun in his backpack. Police said the magazine carried a dozen bullets.
“If these bullies would have surrounded him at school there’s not any ifs, ands, or buts, that he would have used his firearm to shoot one of them,” Chief Jimenez said.
The chief said Ashby was also wanted for burglary out of Florissant and he’s had other run-ins with the law. The chief added that, in this case, communication saved lives.
“With all the shootings going on, see something you say something and those students, I applaud them coming in,” Jimenez said.
Ashby, a St. John resident, was charged with receiving stolen property. Police said the gun was stolen from the city and he’s also charged with unlawful use of a weapon – carrying a loaded gun into school. His bond was set at $25,000. He could also face suspension or expulsion from the school.