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No charges filed in last month’s El Paso High School gun scare; officials said case was closed but are now reversing their position

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Police take a teenager into custody outside El Paso High School on Thursday morning following an incident with a BB gun.

EL PASO, Texas -- No one has been charged or prosecuted after a gun scare paralyzed El Paso High School a month ago, ABC-7 has learned.

Police on Jan. 30 detained three teenagers with a BB gun after searching room by room in a locked down El Paso High following reports of gunmen at the school. A school district spokesman later said the trio never actually made it inside the building.

The three youths, who were taken into custody off of school grounds, were released by school district police later that same day, and authorities at the time had said charges were pending.

But correspondence related to an open records request by ABC-7 to obtain information on the incident revealed no one was charged in the case and indicated the case had been closed.

Late Friday however, after initial reports by ABC-7 on the case being closed, the El Paso Independent School District did an about face and contended documents prepared by its' own law firm were a mistake.

"The investigation into the incident at El Paso High is ongoing and EPISD can't discuss details into the investigation. Lawyers on Monday will file updated paperwork to indicate that the investigation remains open and active," said a statement from Gustavo Reveles Acosta, EPISD's director of community engagement.

But the case had been closed, according to a Feb. 25 letter written by Anthony Safi, an attorney for the law firm Mounce, Green, Myers, Safi, Paxson & Galatzan, which represents EPISD.

"Because the case was not referred for prosecution, no evidence indicates that law enforcement made a determination that a crime actually occurred," reads the letter. "In fact, law enforcement determined that 'no criminal offense had occurred.'"

In that letter from EPISD's lawyers to the Texas Attorney General, the school district had argued the police and incident reports requested by ABC-7 were not public records because the case did not lead to prosecution.

EPISD had asked the Attorney General's Office to withhold all records, citing a Texas law that allows agencies to keep records private if the information "deals with the detection, investigation or prosecution of crime only in relation to an investigation that did not result in conviction or deferred prosecution."

Education / El Paso / News / Top Stories / Video

Brenda De Anda-Swann

Brenda De Anda-Swann is news director at ABC-7.

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

Comments

8 Comments

  1. Wow! If these kids were in New Mexico they would fall under their red flag laws. Wouldn’t that be nice. Having an innocent prank follow you through the rest of your life. Good luck kids. Welcome to the new communist laws that want to take away your right to bear arms.

      1. Mr BigOof. With red flag laws you don’t have to commit a crime. You just have to be designated a maybe wanna hurt someone. No proof. No defense. Just because someone says you are unstable. That is the insidious result of that law. Would hate to have it come here. Wouldn’t you?

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