Student brings loaded gun to Beloit school, stepfather arrested

Published: Jan. 28, 2020 at 2:28 PM CST
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A voicemail no parent wants to hear, but that was the reality for the Beloit School District parents after a gun is found in a student's backpack Tuesday morning. Angie Lannon is one of several parents that didn't like the robocall that was given out by the district.

She says, "I do not like the robocalls. I would rather have the person that is in charge of my kids call and say this is what's going on instead of, "hello this is the Beloit School District" in an automated voice."

Police responded to the school just after 8:30 a.m. The teacher confiscated the backpack and took appropriate precautions for the safety of the other students in the classroom, according to city officials. However, parents didn't get the call until school was out, nearly six hours after the weapon was found. Lannon says, "As a mother yeah I was hot when I found out about it. I was sitting in a doctors office when I got the call."

The Beloit Police Department is not able to refer criminal charges because of the age of the student. After an investigation, police arrested the student's 36-year-old stepfather, Brian Walker, for leaving a loaded weapon within reach or easy access of a child.

Lannon says this process could have gone quicker but understands the partnership between the school and police departments takes many steps to go through an investigation. She says, "As a person who knows how things go, there's investigations that have to happen, protocols and policies in place."

Although some parents were shaken up by the initial news, they say they are at ease knowing everyone is safe. Parent Jennifer Vangeisen says, "I would have wanted to have know a bit sooner but I think its wonderful that it was a situation handled proactively and it stopped something bad that could have happened from even happening in the first place."

The school district says the student will not be in class tomorrow or for the foreseeable future. The age and gender of the student is not being released at this time.

This investigation is ongoing. Child Protective Services is also investigating.