Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Boy, 9, carried loaded gun on school bus, Hillsborough deputies say

RIVERVIEW — When the bus driver noticed the gun, she convinced herself it wasn't real.

"It has to be a toy," 51-year-old Debra Dryden remembered thinking. "It has to be a toy."

In the seat closest to her on the bus' passenger side, a 9-year-old student was slipping a small, loaded .22-caliber handgun into his pants pocket.

The bus was full, packed with 35 to 40 students on their way to Ippolito Elementary School on S Falkenberg Road. Dryden said she looked back over her shoulder when she heard another student who was sitting next to the third-grader say, "I'll never mess with you again."

The boy was arrested Wednesday after Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies met Dryden's bus outside of the school. Students were unloaded while Dryden kept the 9-year-old behind in his seat. Deputies escorted him off the bus, and Dryden said he denied having the gun until deputies found it in his pocket.

The gun, a derringer, doesn't have a safety, Hillsborough County sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon said.

A Hillsborough County Schools spokeswoman said Dryden followed procedure by reporting what she saw to bus dispatch, who in turn contacted authorities.

Despite the danger made obvious later — a loaded gun and a full school bus heading toward a building teeming with children — Dryden said she wasn't scared.

"He never said or did anything to make me feel threatened," Dryden said.

McKinnon said it's not yet clear where the boy got the gun. He initially told deputies it came from home, but then told them he'd found it in the park and hidden it at home before bringing it to school to show off, McKinnon said. Any further charges against the boy's parents would depend on finding out how the pistol made its way into his pocket.

Records show his mother, Canika Moore, was charged with a misdemeanor in July for failure to ensure school attendance, but those charges were dropped.

The boy was booked into the Hillsborough County Juvenile Assessment Center but is expected to be released to his family.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Claire Wiseman can be reached at (727) 893-8804 or cwiseman@tampabay.com. On Twitter: @clairelwiseman.

Boy, 9, carried loaded gun on school bus, Hillsborough deputies say 11/06/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 10:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dodgers close in on World Series with 6-1 win over Cubs

    Ml

    CHICAGO — Yu Darvish pitched into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a commanding 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.

    Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor hits a home run Tuesday during the third inning of Game 3 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs. [Associated Press]
  2. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  3. Mother's testimony about toddler's death brings judge to tears

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed.

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  4. Speakers: Getting tough can't be only response to teen car thefts

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.

    Wengay Newton, Florida House of Representatives (in front, in center), talks as a panelist to a packed room during a community forum on "Reclaiming our Youth: Is Juvenile Justice a Reality?" at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum in St. Petersburg Wednesday evening (10/17/17). The event was presented by the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association. Community leaders discussed the ongoing auto theft epidemic among Pinellas youth.
  5. Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse

    Politics

    White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Donald Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter told the …