VIDEO: Officers fired 19 rounds at student who brought gun to Mesquite charter school

Police in Mesquite fired 19 rounds at a 16-year-old student at Pioneer Technology and Arts Academy after the student brought a gun to school and then at one point aimed it at officers, according to Mesquite police.

Administrators at the Mesquite charter school tried to talk down the student who on Feb. 19 brought the handgun into the school and pulled it out in an administrator’s office, newly released 911 audio revealed.

The audio, released Tuesday along with bodycam video and commentary from Mesquite police, shows that an administrator called 911 and she and others tried to calm the student down and urged him to put the gun on the ground. When officers arrived, they also tried to convince the boy to put the gun down.

The confrontation ended when Mesquite police officers fired their weapons at the student. The student was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police prior to the release of the video had not given much information about what happened. They did not respond to Star-Telegram requests for information, including whether the student ever fired any shots.

Police said that when officers arrived they were told the boy was sitting on the couch and had put the gun down on the floor.

In body camera footage, an administrator is seen standing in the doorway separating police from the student.

“Be still, don’t move,” the administrator can be heard saying. “Be still and don’t move. I need you to trust me do you understand?”

The administrator then moved out of the doorway and stood next to it, appearing to say a prayer. Police said officers talked calmly to the boy for about four and a half minutes, trying to get him to put the gun down and surrender.

“What’s going on today buddy? Can you talk to us?” one officer can be heard calmly asking the boy in the body camera footage. “We would like to help you, that’s why we’re here. Is anything upset you today?”

It’s unclear from the audio if the student responded.

“Can you listen to me closely? Please do not reach for that gun, OK?” the officer asks. “We don’t want anything to happen to you or anyone else. Can you do that for me?”

The officer asks the student to tell him about what was upsetting him that day, but police said the boy reached to the ground to retrieve the gun.

Body camera footage shows the boy reach toward the floor, his face pixelated to hide the minor’s identity. One officer calls out to the boy, his words unintelligible as another fires three rounds into the room. The officers backed away and the door started to close as officers retreated from the doorway.

Police said CCTV footage shows the boy standing with the handgun raised toward officers. Because of the pixelation, the Star-Telegram is not able to independently verify that is what happened, though it does appear that the boy is standing.

After the door was opened again, three officers approached and fired more than 10 rounds at the student. The lights went out in the room and the door closed. Police said officers continued talking to the boy through the closed door until he complied with police commands and exited the room.

Police said that, in total, officers fired 19 rounds at the student.

The boy was taken into custody and taken to the hospital, according to police. He had an injury to his leg from the shooting, though police are not specific about whether he was shot in the leg or if some debris from another object being shot hit his leg. He was treated by the Mesquite Fire Department before he was taken to the hospital.

A .38 Special revolver was found after the standoff, according to police.

No other injuries were reported.

The student is facing “multiple charges” of aggravated assault against a public servant and exhibition of a firearm, according to police. The officers who fired their guns were an 8-year veteran, a 5-year veteran and another officer who transferred recently from another department where they had five years experience.

Mesquite police critical incident unit, its internal affairs division and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office are all running independent investigations of the shooting, according to the video released by police.

Police did not say in the video whether the student ever fired any shots or why the incident was changed from a person with a weapon to an active shooter call while officers were en route.