LIBERTY, Mo. -- An incident that led to an assault charge against a middle-schooler started when people began calling Liberty police to report an armed 12-year-old near a school Thursday afternoon.
That gun turned out to be a toy, an airsoft gun, and the 12-year-old is now in serious trouble.
“He ran home and said 'mom the cops are at the school with their guns.' By the time I got out the front door, they were here in my yard,” Renee Stoklen recalled.
Stoklen never thought she would fear the officers who swear to serve and protect. That all changed Thursday afternoon when she said Liberty officers pointed their rifles at her son.
“The officers told me and my son last night that he could’ve been shot dead for what he did up to the Ridgeview School,” said a distraught Stoklen.
Her son snuck the airsoft gun out of the house and was playing up the street near Ridgeview Elementary School. Someone made a call to police about a kid wearing camouflage waving a gun around.
“He was reported to have been running with the gun in his hand, waving it around, and taking a shooting stance,” said Andy Hedrick with the Liberty Police Department.
Jacque Baker heard the sirens and first thought something bad happened at the school.
“You just saw the men come out with the big guns,” she said.
There are pictures of officers with their rifles on the front lawn, the 12-year-old sitting on the porch with his hands behind his back. Police found an air-soft gun inside the house.
“Right now my body is so numb and I’m so stick to my stomach,” Stoklen said.
This misunderstanding has turned into a nightmare. Stoklen has told her son to never play with toy guns outside, but she said he has special needs and must have forgotten.
Because he’s a juvenile, prosecutors can’t talk publicly about why they decided to charge the 12-year-old with assault.