High school student circumvented metal detectors to bring gun into class Tuesday, prosecutors say

On Wednesday, one day after a ricocheting bullet grazed a 7-year-old boy in an Uptown classroom, Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez tried to take the edge off.

“Anytime we see a gun coming into our schools it’s very troubling, especially when it’s an elementary school,” Martinez told the Sun-Times. “It was in a backpack, so it wasn’t that it was somebody trying to purposely use the gun in some way.

“We’re going to work with the police department because there’s a lot more questions that we have of how does a child get hold of a gun in the first place.”

But, CWBChicago has learned there was another gun incident at different CPS school on Tuesday, too. And it is troubling: A high school student on bail for illegal gun possession since last month allegedly circumvented his school’s security checkpoints to bring a loaded firearm into class.

Uptown incident

Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a 28-year-old Tatanina Kelly with three misdemeanor counts of child endangerment in connection with Tuesday’s accidental firearm discharge at Walt Disney Magnet School, 4130 North Marine Drive.

Kelly’s 8-year-old son took a gun from under her bed Monday night and then brought it to school on Tuesday to show to another student, according to allegations made in court records. Prosecutors said Kelly is licensed to own firearms.

The gun “accidentally discharge[d] in an attempt to show another student,” a Chicago police department said. The bullet ricocheted from the floor tile and a 7-year-old boy suffered graze wounds to his stomach area and upper lip, the police report said.

Disney’s leadership sent an email to parents on Tuesday that suggested the student was struck by “debris.” But the police report said a janitor found a bullet fragment.

CPD’s report lists the school’s principal, assistant principal, and janitor as either witnesses or persons interviewed. The report does not show that any other adults, including teachers, were interviewed.

Judge Michael Hogan set Kelly’s bail at $10,000, meaning she must pay $1,000 to get out of jail.

An initial CPD report said the student whose backpack contained the gun told police their mother’s boyfriend put the gun in their bag.

Circumventing security

Also on Tuesday, Chicago police arrested an 18-year-old after he allegedly circumvented security check-points to bring a gun into Richard T. Crane Medical Prep High School on the Near West Side.

The student, Khaaliq Dixon, was already on bail for a felony gun charge that he picked up on April 10, records show.

Khaaliq Dixon was arrested at Richard T. Crane Medical Prep High School | Google; CCSO

Prosecutors said a school contractor saw Dixon place a bag next to one of the school’s exterior doors on Tuesday. Dixon then entered the school, walked into the gym, opened the exterior door, and brought the bag inside, prosecutors said. Video surveillance recorded it all, Assistant State’s Attorney Sean Kelly said.

Crane reportedly has metal detector-equipped checkpoints at its entrances.

School staff members, alerted by the contractor, removed Dixon and his bag from class. They found a loaded 9-millimeter “ghost gun” in the bag, Kelly said.

During Wednesday’s bail hearing, Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber said Kelly “was a student at Crane until yesterday.”

Prosecutors charged Dixon with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Judge Susana Ortiz set bail at $250,000 on the new charge. He must post a $25,000 deposit to go home on electronic monitoring under her order.

He won’t be able to go home right away, though. Ortiz also ordered him held without bail until the judge handling his other case can review the new allegations.

On April 10, prosecutors charged Dixon with felony unlawful use of weapon after cops allegedly recovered a loaded 45-caliber handgun from his waistband during a traffic stop at 11:49 p.m.

The next day, Judge Kelly McCarthy set his bail at $2,500, requiring a $250 deposit, and told him to stay in the house from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com