Possible Cover-Up at Richland High after Gun Found at School

Possible Cover-Up at Richland High after Gun Found at School »Play Video
RICHLAND -- A possible cover-up at Richland High after a gun is found at school.

Police arrested two kids this week for bringing a 9 mm and bullets to class.

At the time, police said they arrested the suspects within minutes.

Now a credible source has come forward to say school leaders knew about the gun for at least an hour before taking action.

It is very rare when Action News doesn't divulge a source, but reporters are confident that this person is credible and has no reason to lie.

The person was there when all the action went down and can attest to a break down in communication, lack of responsibility, and outright refusal to take things seriously when two boys brought a gun to school.

Friday, school reps admit there was a big delay.

"It does appear that there was a time gap of anywhere from 40 to 50 minutes from when the first student noticed the gun and to when we took action," Richland School District Superintendent Dr. Rich Semler.

Police arrested the boys in fifth period, but Richland school reps said it was in fourth period when the trouble started.

The school claims, a teacher saw a kid playing with what she thought was a cell phone.

It was a gun.

A student realized it was a gun and handed a note to the teacher, reporting it.

But this is where it gets murky.

The school said it's not clear who read that note and when.

"Between that time and when Rettig discovered the note, there's a time time lapse and that's the part we're figuring out," Semler said.

Ryan Rettig is a vice principal at Richland High.

The source said Rettig's the one who got the note about the gun and started his own investigation.

He apparently met with the teen named in the note then sent him back to class.

"We don't go to the security guard, we go to the police," Semler said. "and if that didn't happen we made a big-time mistake."

The source argues that didn't happen.

According to the insider, the note changed hands quite a few times.

It went from the teacher to the vice principal, to another vice principal, then to a security officer and finally the police, at least an hour after the first report of the gun.

"If the teacher knew about a gun and we didn't know it, we've got a big lapse in communication," Semler said.

When the school resource officer asked why Rettig waited to tell, the source claims he responded "I was busy with other students and honestly just spaced it."

Then principal Gordon Comfort replied "It's human error and the two laughed it off."

"If I found out that we have two to three principals, for example, that did not take this serious, then I would be very concerned with that," Semler said.

Action News did try talking to Richland High school's principal, Gordon Comfort, since he's quoted as making that comment about human error.

He told Action News that he was not taking any interviews and the superintendent was speaking on his behalf.

Semler said Friday, his statements were just part of a preliminary report.

Administrators are doing their own investigation and should have that final report by early next week.

The boys are still out of school and being held at the Justice Center.