Mother of suspect in school shooting doesn't know source of gun Woman says son, 14, was recent transfer

February 26, 1992|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,Staff Writer

When Corrine Adams learned that her 14-year-old son, Peter, had been arrested after a school police officer was shot Monday at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, she was bewildered and confused.

"God only knows where he got it [the gun] from, I sure don't. I'd never seen it before. He said he'd found it," Mrs. Adams said yesterday.

Peter had recently transferred to Roland Park from Chinquapin Middle School, where he was thrown out for fighting, his mother said.

Mrs. Adams, of the 600 block of McCabe Avenue, said the trouble began on Friday at school when Peter had an argument with another boy. She said the parents of both boys talked over the weekend, and she said she thought the dispute had been settled. She said was surprised when the trouble rekindled on Monday.

Larry Burgan, chief of the school police force, said the officer was shot after he discovered that Peter was carrying a beeper. State law prohibits students from carrying beepers in schools. The law was enacted to thwart drug dealing.

Mr. Burgan said the officer found the beeper following an altercation between Peter and another student. Both boys were escorted to the school security office by the school's principal, Evelyn Beasley, a vice principal and school police Officer James Kelly.

Ms. Beasley and the vice principal escorted the other youth out of the school, leaving Officer Kelly and Peter in the office, Mr. Burgan said. The officer was shot when, during a struggle over the beeper, the boy produced a .22-caliber pistol and it discharged, Mr. Burgan said.

Officer Kelly, 39, a 15-year veteran of the police force, was listed in serious but stable condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center last night.

The Adams youth was charged as an adult with attempted murder and a handgun violation. He has been held at Northern District police lockup and was scheduled for bail review today at the Wabash District Court.

A .22-caliber Beretta semiautomatic handgun was recovered at the scene, police reported.

Mrs. Adams said she believed the gun may have accidentally discharged during the struggle. "That's the only thing I can think of," she said yesterday.

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