Boy, 16, says he brought knife to school to defend himself

By Janice Gregorson
Rochester Post-Bulletin


ROCHESTER — Festering tensions between members of two gangs at Mayo High School has led to the arrest of a 16-year-old boy who said he brought a knife to school because he didn’t want to be killed.

The boy has been charged in Olmsted District Juvenile Court with illegally having a dangerous weapon on school property.

He was arrested Friday and held at the Many Rivers Juvenile Detention Center until Judge Robert Birnbaum released him to a family member Monday. He ordered the boy to not be involved in gang activity, including showing gang colors. The teen returns to court Monday.

According to the petition and attached police reports, the teen is a member of the Shotgun Crips and feuding with the Surenos gang.

A bus driver noticed the knife Friday morning and called school staff, who called the Mayo High police liaison officer, Josh Thompson.

The teen told officials he thought there was going to be a fight on Friday with some Surenos and that he was not going to let them kill him, according to the court petition.

Thompson said in his report that there have been recent problems between several Hispanic and African-American students. Two weeks ago, he said, he separated the teen and his friends from a group of Hispanics. That occurred again on Thursday when he saw the two groups “facing off and gesturing.”

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