Blue Springs man charged with illegally possessing firearm at el - KCTV5 News


Blue Springs man charged with illegally possessing firearm at elementary school

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File photo. (AP) File photo. (AP)

A Blue Springs man was charged in federal court on Thursday with illegally possessing a firearm he carried into an elementary school building, according to the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Shaunee Burkhart, a 33-year-old from Blue Springs, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo.

The federal criminal complaint charges Burkhart with one count of being a drug user in possession of a firearm and one count of possessing a firearm in a school zone.

Burkhart remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Tuesday.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, a secretary at James Walker Elementary School in Blue Springs contacted the Blue Springs School District Department of Public Safety to report a suspicious person on Wednesday morning.

Previous coverage: 'Erratic' Blue Springs parent accused of carrying gun, drugs inside school

The secretary said that Burkhart, a parent of students at the school, entered the school at about 10:08 a.m.

Burkhart used one of the school’s phones to call someone and ask for a ride. While on the phone, the secretary told officers, Burkhart appeared to be recording himself with an electronic tablet.

When he finished the call, he left the school and sat on a bench outside of the front entrance.

The secretary told officers she felt uncomfortable and nervous about Burkhart hanging around the school. He was acting in a way that the secretary believed was strange and out of the ordinary.

When officers came to the school, they saw Burkhart walking from the front door. He appeared to be smoking something, the affidavit said, and an officer smelled marijuana.

As the officers approached, Burkhart sped up the pace of his walk, crossed the street and went behind some trees. When the officers contacted Burkhart, the affidavit said, he acted nervous and jittery.

An officer saw a loaded Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol in Burkhart’s rear waistband. The officer took the pistol. In addition, the affidavit said, a red package of cigarettes in Burkhart’s front left pants pocket contained a marijuana cigarette.

Moments into the officers’ contact with Burkhart, his sister arrived in an SUV and joined Burkhart and the officers.

Refusing to get back into her vehicle, she began hugging Burkhart. According to the affidavit, the officer saw her take something from Burkhart’s front left breast pocket and attempt to hide it by putting into her shirt or bra.

Officers found the item: a cigarette package that contained Burkhart’s Colorado state identification card and two yellow Ziploc baggies of methamphetamine.

Burkhart unsuccessfully tried to run away as an officer took him to a patrol vehicle in handcuffs. According to the affidavit, the officer believed that Burkhart was under the influence of some type of drug.

When the Blue Springs Police Department took custody of Burkhart, an officer saw that he seemed disoriented and that his speech was slurred. Burkhart had little to no recollection of his contact with the officers. A glass pipe containing methamphetamine residue was located in his backpack.

Burkhart told investigators he has been smoking marijuana two to three times per week for the last five years. Burkhart also said he has used methamphetamine numerous times in the last month, including the night prior to his arrest, and had taken Vicodin earlier that morning, which he purchased from a street dealer.

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