SAN ANTONIO – The number of cases involving children making some type of terroristic threat is becoming more common, according to Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar.
“Out in Schertz, recently, we had information of an important case that came to my attention where a third grader brought a gun to school,” said Salazar.
This week, an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy were arrested after threatening to bring guns to an Idea Public School in southwest Bexar County.
Salazar said the process of interrogating a minor after an arrest is not an easy one.
He says a minor must first have the consent of a parent. In most cases, the minor will be brought before a judge to be magistrated before being interviewed.
The magistrate judge will then determine if the child understands what is being asked of them. After that, information will be presented in writing, like a statement from the child.
“These processes are in place for a reason. We want to be mindful of everybody’s constitutional rights, obviously, especially a child that may not fully comprehend what’s being said or done,” said Salazar.
Parents won’t be exempt from interrogations because these cases involve minors.
“We’re going to be talking to their parents at some point to find out ‘What did you know, when did you know it, and what did you do about it?’” Salazar said.
He said they aren’t ruling out cases where parents could have no idea of their child’s involvement in these terroristic threat situations. He said the sheriff’s office would not take any threat from anyone of any age lightly.
To address this increasing concern, BCSO will host a series of meetings at several school districts to educate families on what factors or elements drive the increase in gun-related violence.
Salazar said they would discuss guns, fentanyl, and THC vapes, some driving factors in recent shootings.
“The cases that we’ve seen are that young people are willing to kill each other over those vape cartridges, and so being that we’re encountering them with more frequency, we’ve made a few arrests because of this operation,” said Salazar.
The first meeting will be held at Bennie Cole Elementary School at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 23.
The next meeting will take place at Southwest High School at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 27.
Each meeting will be in collaboration with the respective school district.
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