San Diego Teacher Arrested, Charged With Possessing Weapons At School
A Farb Middle School teacher was on compulsory paid leave today and facing potential felony charges for allegedly bringing a gun and knife to work, possibly as a means of defending himself in the event of a shooting or other violence at the campus.
Seventh- and eighth-grade English instructor Ned Carter Walker, 41, was taken into custody in a parking lot at the Tierrasanta school Monday morning and booked into county jail, according to San Diego Unified School District officials. He later posted $50,000 bail and was released on his own recognizance.
SDUSD Police Chief Rueben Littlejohn told reporters that Walker's alleged decision to carry a loaded .380-caliber pistol and a knife with a 2.5-inch blade onto the school grounds may have been well-intentioned, but was nonetheless illegal and contrary to district regulations.
He said Walker was a known gun enthusiast who had talked about guns and ammunition previously, but such disucssions recently began to concern his colleagues.
“We have some reports that he may have had some conversations with students related to them being safe there," Littlejohn said. "And possibly him being able to protect them in the event of a violent intruder.”
Courtney Rizzo, interim principal at the La Cuenta Drive school, told parents in a letter that administrators were limited in the amount of information they could release on the allegations against Walker.
"Our focus is to continue to ensure that our students are safe, the learning process goes on as usual and we work with the proper authorities," Rizzo wrote.
School police officers and the district's crisis response team were on the Farb campus Tuesday. They were working with students and staff "who are emotionally struggling to deal with what happened with this teacher and colleague," Littlejohn said, "giving them the opportunity to talk with someone and try to process this."
A conviction on either or both of the felony charges -- one per weapon -- that Walker could face in the case would be grounds for dismissal, district spokesman Jack Brandais said.