Driver stops school bus, tells students to ‘duck down’ after gun sighting

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 8:24 PM CDT
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(KARE 11) - A middle school principal from the Robbinsdale Public Schools sent a letter home to families Friday after a school bus driver spotted a nearby vehicle with passengers inside pointing guns.

Minneapolis police confirm the incident, which took place near the intersection of Penn Ave. N and Golden Valley Rd. just after 9 a.m. Squads were dispatched to that location after a bus company relayed information that one of its drivers reported seeing people in a vehicle with guns pull out in front of the school bus.

More details about what unfolded were spelled out in a communication to district families from Robbinsdale Middle School Principal Shirrie Jackson. She said after spotting passengers in the nearby vehicle pointing guns, the driver called company dispatchers, stopped the bus and told four students who were aboard at the time to duck down. The driver then put the bus in reverse to back up and get out of the area.

Jackson says at no time were guns pointed directly at the school bus.

“We are grateful for the bus driver’s quick response and their ability to remain calm during this scary situation,” shared principal Jackson. “Staff met the students as they exited the bus so they could discuss the situation. We’ve already reached out to the families of the students who witnessed the incident – as well as those who boarded the bus after it – to inform them of the situation.”

The district is reminding parents that situations like the one Friday morning can be traumatic and stressful for students and that counselors and support staff are always available to talk with both children and their families.

Robbinsdale Public Schools have been in the headlines recently. Charges were filed this week for an incident last November where students allegedly posted a video of themselves holding a firearm in a bathroom at Sandburg Middle School. A second incident was reported that same month where a student allegedly brought a gun to school and showed it to fellow Robbinsdale Middle School students.

Police also confirmed a third incident last November at Neil Elementary School in Crystal. Police said staff members working with the Adventure Club after-school program reported a BB gun had been discovered in a student’s backpack.