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Teens face felonies in BB gun barrage

Two 14-year-old boys accused of firing BB guns at school buses and cars at the River Ridge school complex have each been charged with 19 counts of shooting a deadly missile at a vehicle.

Each second-degree felony count carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment or a $10,000 fine.

The boys, who were not identified because they are juveniles, were released to the custody of their parents Friday night.

"I think this is a situation where the fullest legal ramifications should be pursued," River Ridge principal Robert Dorn said Saturday.

" . . . The best way to make people understand is to let them know we won't tolerate it."

Fourteen school buses and five private vehicles received dents and broken windows Friday afternoon. Ten buses sustained about $1,500 in damage, and two cars had $100 damage estimates.

No injuries were reported, but students, their relatives and residents of the River Ridge community were upset by reports of a sniper at the campus.

Tampa Bay television stations alerted the public, and , the school was flooded with telephone calls. Deputies blocked traffic to the area.

Lt. Sandy Reed of the Pasco Sheriff's Office said the teenagers admitted to the shootings. Reed said the boys shot at the vehicles "just to do it."

The boys took authorities to woods near the campus where they hid the BB guns and several large knives.

In an unrelated incident Friday morning, an 11-year-old River Ridge Middle School student was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon on campus. The student, whose name was withheld by authorities, was accused of keeping an air-powered pellet pistol on campus. Two students alerted a school administrator, who called authorities to investigate.

"I think it's just a coincidence," Dorn said. "That student was arrested and removed from campus."

Assistant principal Debra Miller removed the pistol from bushes on campus. No shots were fired from the weapon and police reports didn't include the boy's reason for having the gun at school.