Investigation at Cranston West High School Leads to Three Students Being Arrested on Weapons Charges and the Seizure of Two Handguns

Colonel Michael Winquist, Chief of the Cranston Police Department, announces the arrest of
three juvenile males ranging from ages 14 to 16 on multiple weapons charges after an investigation by the
Cranston Police Department. The investigation was initiated after a Cranston Police School Resource
Officer received information that a juvenile was in possession of a handgun yesterday on the grounds of
Cranston High School West during an after school athletic event. The term “school grounds” refers to the
property of a public school or in those portions of any building, stadium, or other structure on school
grounds which were, at the time of the violation, being used for an activity sponsored by or through a
school in this state. It does not mean they were in the school with the handgun.
After a lengthy investigation concluding late this evening it was discovered that one of the
juveniles arrested removed two handguns and ammunition from a family member’s home and
subsequently transferred one of the guns to another juvenile involved, in exchange for a jacket. Once the
juvenile obtained the handgun in exchange for his jacket he then brought the handgun to an after school
athletic event at Cranston High School West, where he met two other juveniles. Two of these juveniles
then briefly left the event and each fired the weapon into the ground in a nearby wooded area off school
grounds. After firing the weapon, all of the juveniles returned to the athletic event with the handgun.
It was also discovered during this investigation by Cranston West High School officials that one
of the juveniles were in possession of a conducted electrical weapon, commonly referred to as a “stun
gun.” This weapon was also seized and immediately turned over to the School Resource Officer.
Colonel Winquist stated, «Due to the diligence of concerned students, school administrators and
the school resource police officer assigned to Cranston High School West, an investigation was
immediately initiated this morning after reports were received that students had been in possession of
handguns on school property the previous day. The investigation revealed that the students never
entered any school building with the firearms. Furthermore, there was no evidence that the students
intended to harm any other students or faculty members. The guns were seized this afternoon at a
student’s residence. The safety of all students and faculty is of the highest priority and the expedient
resolution to this incident is a tribute to the open communication within the school community and
immediate response by investigators.»

A fifteen (15) year old juvenile will face the following charges:
 Sale, transfer or delivery of firearms to minors (11-47-30)
 Sale, transfer or delivery of ammunition to minors (11-47-31)
 Possession of ammunition by minor (11-47-32)
 Possession of firearm by minor (11-47-33)
 License or permit required to carry a pistol (11-47-8)
 Possession of a stolen firearm (11-47-5.2)
A fourteen (14) year old juvenile will face the following charges:
 Possession of ammunition by minor (11-47-32)
 Possession of firearm by minor (11-47-33)
 License or permit required to carry a pistol (11-47-8)
 Firing in compact area (11-47-50)
 Possession of firearms on school grounds (11-47-60)
A sixteen (16) year old juvenile will face the following charges:
 Possession of ammunition by minor (11-47-32)
 Possession of firearm by minor (11-47-33)
 License or permit required to carry a pistol (11-47-8)
 Firing in compact area (11-47-50)
 Weapons other than firearms prohibited (11-47-42)
At the conclusion of this investigation a Rhode Island Family Court Judge was contacted and all
three juveniles were ordered held at the Rhode Island State Training School pending their arraignments
tomorrow morning on September 28, 2016 in Family Court.
“We have planned for an increase in police presence at Cranston West High School which will begin
tomorrow morning and continue as a precautionary measure, there is no ongoing threat or additional
information that should concern students, parents or faculty. It will be business as usual at Cranston High
School West tomorrow,” stated Major Todd Patalano.
“Cranston Public Schools is grateful to the administrators at CHSW, SRO DiMeo and the members
of the Cranston Police who worked together to thoroughly investigate this situation. I commend those
who shared this information with our administrators, so we were able to act quickly. Student and staff
safety is paramount to us at all times. We will continue to work collaboratively with the Cranston Police,
in all matters involving the safety of our schools, students and staff,” stated Jeannine Nota-Masse,
Superintendent.
«I am pleased with the response of the school administration and Cranston Police Department,»
stated Mayor Allan Fung. «The school resource officer working in close cooperation with school officials
identified the students involved in this incident and acted swiftly to ensure the safety of all students and
faculty. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that Cranston schools will continue to provide a
safe and healthy environment for our children’s education.»