A school bus driver at King Philip Regional School District is under arrest and facing criminal charges for bringing a loaded gun onboard a school bus while students were present.
Details of the incident were released in a blog from King Philip Schools, located southwest of Cambridge, Massachusetts
The driver, who has been identified as 65-year-old David Tripp, is an employee of district contractor Holmes Bus Co.. A parent of a student on Tripp’s bus notified police that the weapon was spotted during a trip to King Philip Middle School on May 6.
Investigators reviewed interior security camera footage from the bus and discovered that students boarding the bus that morning saw the gun on one of the seats. Police added that they believe Tripp dropped the gun when he was cleaning the bus between routes.
Tripp reportedly heard commotion from the students about the weapon and walked to the rear of the bus to retrieve it. There were an estimated 12 students onboard the bus at the time of the incident but no students are believed to have touched the gun.
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The firearm was identified by police as a .45 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver. On May 7, law enforcement arrested Tripp, suspended his concealed carry permit and confiscated the gun, which was loaded with seven rounds at the time, but there was no bullet in the chamber.
Tripp is no longer transporting students and is facing charges of reckless endangerment of a child, improper storage of a firearm near a minor, intimidation, and carrying a firearm on campus.
“This is a deeply disturbing situation in which an employee entrusted with the care and transportation of school children allegedly put them in danger by not only carrying a firearm on a school bus but being so reckless as to lose it and allow a child to find it,” said District Superintendent Paul Zinni. “This was an incredibly dangerous situation that could have turned tragic in the blink of an eye.”
School administrators at Norfolk Public Schools and King Philip Regional School District said they will interview the students on the bus at the time of incident and will provide counselors.