The 11-year-old boy accused of bringing a handgun and 400 rounds of ammunition to Frontier Middle School on Wednesday said voices told him to shoot another student in the arm to prevent him from bullying a friend, according to court records.
Sixth-grader Quincy J. Tuttle appeared in Clark County Juvenile Court Thursday on suspicion of multiple crimes in connection with Wednesday’s incident.
Quincy said the other student called his friend “gay,” according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.
“He stated a voice told him killing (the student) was a good idea,” the affidavit says.
However, he told police he only planned to shoot the student in the arm and then shoot himself in the head, the court document says.
Superior Court Dayann Liebman ordered Quincy to undergo a mental competency evaluation. He will remain in custody pending a review of that evaluation at 9 a.m. Friday, when his release will be considered. Liebman appointed Vancouver attorney John Lutgens to represent him.
Quincy, a small freckle-faced boy with strawberry blonde hair, politely answered Liebman’s questions during the hearing.
Although police said Wednesday night that the boy was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, court documents indicate that Liebman found probable cause only for charges of first-degree attempted assault, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a weapon at school. He has no other criminal history.
The Tuttle family expressed regret for the incident in a statement released Thursday.
“We are at a loss for words and deeply saddened for the fear that these circumstances have caused,” they said. “We are cooperating with law enforcement, school personnel and mental health officials to ensure our son gets the help he needs. We are asking for privacy at this time and will not be providing further statements.”
The boy’s mother, Carla Tuttle, called the school around 9 a.m. Wednesday to report that she suspected her son had taken some kitchen knives to school. School resource officers contacted Quincy and took him to the principal’s office. Officers found a .22-caliber handgun and two loaded .22-caliber magazines in his front pants pockets, according to the affidavit. More ammunition and kitchen knives were found in his backpack, said police spokeswoman Kim Kapp.
All of the weapons came from his family’s home, Kapp said. She wouldn’t say whether the gun was locked up or whether Quincy’s parents are being investigated. However, she said detectives don’t anticipate making additional arrests in the case.
The middle school, 7600 N.E. 166th Ave., and adjacent Pioneer Elementary School, 7212 N.E. 166th Ave., were locked down at about 9:20 a.m. Wednesday.
The lockdown lasted about two hours, but police detectives conducted interviews well into Wednesday night. No one was injured.
Quincy’s arrest was announced by a press release at about 10 p.m.
He has since been expelled from the middle school, according to Evergreen Public Schools.
News of the boy’s arrest came as a shock to Quincy’s schoolmates. The middle school serves about 900 students in grades 6-8.
Thirteen-year-old Tiffany West rides the school bus with Quincy from a bus stop in their Sifton neighborhood. She said the wait with Quincy at the bus stop Wednesday morning seemed no different than any other day.
“He didn’t seem sad or depressed,” Tiffany said. “He didn’t ever seem like a fighting type of person. He got good grades.”
He did not have a reputation as a troublemaker, Evergreen Public Schools spokesman Kris Fay said.
“This kid has not been on the radar for this,” Fay said.
Neighbors of the Tuttle family home in the 13300 block of Northeast 92nd Avenue said they have many unanswered questions about how the incident could have happened.
“My main concern was how did he get a gun? It should have been locked up,” said neighbor Charlene Lundberg, 51. “Guns should be locked up so that your children don’t get them.”
She said the incident scared her because her daughter, Brettley, 13, also rides the school bus with Quincy.
“How did he get 400 rounds of ammunition into school?” asked neighbor Don Pritchett.
None of the public schools in Vancouver has metal detectors.
Frontier student Baylei Cox, 12, said what scared her most during the lockdown was thinking about what could have happened.
“He had a lot of bullets,” Baylei said. “He could have killed half the school.”
Baylei’s father, Doug Cox, said he was “just thankful (Quincy) got caught before something did happen.”
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