Thursday, March 30, 2006

Former student charged with assault

A young man who fired a pellet gun in a Sardis secondary classroom last week is
facing several weapons-related


School district officials said the school's crisis management team is working through a threat assessment process this week in the aftermath of the assaults, as the suspect awaits his second court appearance.
The suspect is a former student who'd been "unsuccessful" in his studies and was dropping off some books at the school. It was during the lunch hour on March 22, that he allegedly pulled out and discharged the replica pistol five times, hitting three students with plastic pellets causing minor injuries.
RCMP arrested the 18-year-old man near the school a short time later, after several units converged on the Stevenson Road site, including dogs services and major crime section officers.
This week the school's crisis management team is working through a threat assessment process, says assistant superintendent Bob Patterson.
"It's a follow-up process we go through after the fact, and it's part of the training the school district has undertaken to deal with situations considered threatening," Patterson says.
"It's something we've been working on this year and it's a type of formal training for district personnel so they'll know how to read situations and read the signs of threatening situations, before they happen."
District and school staff as well as RCMP are involved in the threat assessment work.
"So it's a community response," Patterson adds. He also had high praise for the school's cool-headed reaction to a potentially red-hot situation.
"I want to commend staff and students at Sardis secondary for how they conducted themselves," he said.
Asked what motive the former student could have had for discharging the airsoft pistol in a classroom, the district official said, "I can't say anything at this point."
Sardis secondary principal Bob Long could not provide any details about the former student or what his motives may have been.
School staff has been walking through everything they did during the situation.
"We've been talking about how we might do things better or differently," he said.
The crisis team will meet more last time next week, he added.
Delton David Knox, 18, appeared in Chilliwack Provincial court Thursday and is charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, carrying a concealed weapon, and five counts of assault with a weapon. He's scheduled for a second court appearance March 29.
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