Aunt sentenced in gun incident at St. Paul elementary school

Published 8:01 am Tuesday, April 18, 2017

By Mary Divine

St. Paul Pioneer Press

St. Paul — A woman whose gun was fired last fall inside a St. Paul elementary school classroom has been sentenced to a stayed jail term and 40 hours of community service.

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Breanna Jolene Jones, 35, of St. Paul pleaded guilty last week in Ramsey County District Court to negligent storage of a loaded firearm, a gross misdemeanor.

Jones was sentenced to a 180-day stayed jail term and will be on probation for two years. One of the conditions of Jones’ probation is that she must take a firearms-safety class.

No one was injured in the November incident, but Jones was accused of creating a situation where a child was likely to be killed or badly hurt because of the child’s access to a loaded gun.

According to the criminal complaint, Jones’ 7-year-old nephew took a .38-caliber revolver from a plastic, transparent table next to her bed on Nov. 17. He put the gun in his backpack and carried it onto the school bus, where he handed it to another student, the complaint states.

The other student told police he was playing with the gun in a classroom at Crossroads Elementary when another student asked to see it. He slid the gun under the table to the other boy, an 8-year-old, who spun the revolver’s cylinder and pulled the trigger, causing it to fire.

“The boy said the bullet almost hit his foot and scared him,” the complaint said. He then threw the gun under the table and ran out of the room, the complaint said.

The bullet hit the carpeted floor and slid across the room toward the teacher’s desk. The teacher picked up the gun from underneath a table where students were sitting, wrapped it in cloth and took it to the principal’s office. The gun held four more live rounds.

Police said there were 27 students in the classroom at the time of the shooting.

Jones told police she had bought the gun “for home protection” three weeks before the Nov. 17 shooting. She has a permit for the gun, police said.

She said she kept the gun stored underneath clothing inside the plastic, transparent nightstand; the table has no locking mechanism, and Jones said she had no storage device for the gun.

—Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.