Student discovers loaded handgun near Cranston school

Photo: Madeleine Wright | WPRI 12

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Cranston police are investigating after a 15-year-old student found a loaded gun near Cranston High School East.

Police say the student was waiting for his mother to pick him up from school around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday when he saw a loaded .22 caliber derringer pistol wedged between two parking blocks.

“He didn’t touch it. As soon as his mother arrived, he immediately notified her. She called the police,” said Lt. Matthew Kite, Cranston Police Department.

Police ran the serial number of the gun through their system and a preliminary search indicated the weapon has not been reported stolen. Officials are now contacting the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to find out who the owner of the gun is.

Investigators are also checking record to see if there’s anything connected to the weapon. They said they’ve taken the weapon apart and are searching for fingerprints or other trace evidence that could give them a lead.

Violating the safe storage law, which says a gun must be locked and secured when not in use,  is a misdemeanor crime.

“It doesn’t matter where it is. An unattended firearm anywhere is a potential hazard. Somebody doesn’t know how to handle them, or had ill intent,” Kite said.

Police did not beef up security at the high school Wednesday, saying there was no immediate danger to students and that school resource officers are already in the building.

Courtney Caligiuri contributed to this report.

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