Man with gun arrested outside of Deer Park Elementary School was walking his dog, attorney says

ByDerrick Lewis KTRK logo
Thursday, September 29, 2022
Man with gun arrested outside school was walking dog, attorney said
A man charged with possession of a prohibited weapon for having a gun outside Deer Park Elementary School was walking his dog, his attorney said.

DEER PARK, Texas (KTRK) -- A 21-year-old man has been charged with possession of a prohibited weapon after he allegedly had a gun while walking on the premises of Deer Park Elementary School this week, according to court records.

Brendan Ladd allegedly went onto the school premises on multiple occasions with a firearm on him, according to documents.

The incident happened on Sept. 27 at about 11 a.m., when a staff member saw the man and reported him to the school's resource officer. But according to a letter that the parents received from the school's principal, "police do not believe the man (Ladd) had any ill intent."

"You cannot have a gun on you near a school at this time when all these tragic things are happening," Sonia Flores, a parent of a student at Deer Park Elementary, said. "I send my daughter to school every day and I pray on her. I pray on the kids that nothing like this would ever happen again or close to home."

Ladd's attorney, Clayton Rawlings, said his client was walking his dog near the school when police were called.

"He is not a problem in terms of public safety or what not," Rawlings said.

Without going into detail, Rawlings believes there's been a misunderstanding.

"He's a really nice young man," Rawlings said.

While documents state that Ladd went onto the premises with the weapon, the principal wrote that he did not approach any students or employees and surrendered his weapon to the police.

Read the complete letter from the school below:

I am writing to inform you about an incident that took place near our school today. The safety of our students and employees is our highest priority, and with that in mind, our school was placed on a precautionary shelter-in-place order earlier today while police responded to the situation.

At about 11 a.m., one of our office team members reported seeing an individual on the north side of the building who appeared to be carrying a firearm. She informed the School Resource Officer, who immediately approached the man outside. He cooperated with the officer, and based on their exchange, police do not believe the man had any ill intent. He surrendered his weapon to police and was detained.

Even though the man walked across the campus property, he never approached any students or employees. Still, under the Texas Penal Code, citizens are prohibited from carrying firearms on the premises of a school, including any grounds or buildings where a school activity is taking place.

Thankfully, there was never an immediate danger to our school, and the impact on our instructional program was minimal. I'm proud of how quickly our team responded, and we appreciate the continued support of the Deer Park Police Department.

Flores said school officials did not tell her what happened.

"I mean it's like a hush-hush," she said. "Why is it a hush-hush with all these things going on?"

For now, Ladd is out on bond and scheduled to be back in court Monday.

"We'll provide a lot of information to the DA's office and see if we can come to a resolution on this matter," Rawlings said.


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