Two charged with weapons, interference violations after Saydel High School put on lockdown Tuesday morning

Philip Joens
Des Moines Register

Two people were arrested after Saydel High School was briefly placed on lockdown Tuesday morning on reports that a weapon had been found in a vehicle loitering in the school's parking lot.

At 7:38 a.m., Saydel High Principal Kevin Schulte told the Polk County Sheriff's Office that a student had told him a person in a red Ford Taurus in the building's parking lot had a gun, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

Polk County Sheriff's Lt. Ryan Evans told the Des Moines Register a person in the vehicle showed a gun to the student. Evans said he did not know if the gun was merely shown to the student or was pointed at the student.

At 7:42 a.m., a deputy saw the vehicle leaving the school at Northeast 7th Street and Northeast 54th Avenue. The driver then fled onto Northeast 6th Street and crashed in a yard at the intersection of Northeast 6th Street and Northeast 57th Avenue, according to the news release.

A 19-year-old female and two juvenile males were detained, Evans said, and the lockdown ended shortly after 8 a.m.

The 19-year-old woman was charged with carrying weapons and interfering with official acts. A 16-year-old boy was charged with:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Reckless driving, driving without a license.
  • Operating a motor vehicle without the owner's consent.
  • Interfering with official acts causing injury.
  • Possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.
  • Possession with intent to deliver marijuana.
  • Two counts of tax stamp violations.
  • Carrying weapons on school grounds.

The third suspect, who was 15 years old, was not charged and released to a parent. During the investigation, officers found three airsoft pistols, a .22 caliber rifle, brass knuckles and illegal narcotics.

Saydel Superintendent Todd Martin said students were filing into the school when the incident occurred.

"They're starting the beginning of the day," Evans said. "It's absolutely serious. Anytime you see a gun shown in a car in a school parking lot, especially at that time of day.

"If it happens at 11 p.m., when nothing is going on, OK. But at 7:40 in the morning, when school is getting ready to go in session, that's not a good thing."

Philip Joens covers breaking news for The Des Moines Register. He can be reached at 515-443-3347 at pjoens@registermedia.com or on Twitter @Philip_Joens.