The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Gila River Police Department on Wednesday, February 6th, just after 6 pm for 12-year-old Kevin Valenzuela who was admitted to the hospital for a possible gunshot wound to the leg. The child was at Gila River Health Care and getting transported to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
During the course of the investigation, the student claimed that at approximately 3:20 pm he was at the football field of Champion with his friend when he heard a pop and his leg started to hurt. He told school staff that he was hit with a baseball. The student’s mother was already at the school to pick up another child, and staff assisted the student into his mother’s vehicle between 3:25 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Just before 5:00 pm, the 12-year-old was admitted to the Gila River Health Care so doctors could examine his leg. It was at this point that doctors felt it may be a small caliber gunshot wound, and at approximately 6:00 pm notified law enforcement. The child was then transported to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Doctors believe they found a bullet from a .22 caliber gun.
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is working to confirm where the incident actually happened. At the time of the incident, students were leaving school for the day and there were many students and school staff in the area where the incident occurred and no one heard any gun shots. Initial evidence on scene shows some indication that the student was possibly shot at close range, but they are waiting for more conclusive results.
PCSO wants the public to know that the school has been extremely cooperative during the entire investigation and have taken all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all students. There is nothing that leads detectives to believe that the school or any students were a target or that the school is in any danger in anyway.
Parents however are concerned that it took Champion Schools six days to release any communication to the parents about the incident. Yesterday, February 12, 2019, the following notice was sent out by Champion Schools:
The school has been working with the Pinal County Sheriff's Department in gathering information in regard to investigating this matter. Unfortunately, there is no clear explanation or definitive conclusion. In order to assist the Sheriff's Department, the school was asked not speculate, spread rumors or hearsay. that might hinder their investigation. We hope to have more information soon.
The school is very sympathetic to the family of the young man who was injured. We understand and share their concern in wanting to know exactly what happened. The school thought it best to cooperate fully with law enforcement.
This is still an ongoing investigation and more information will be released when it becomes available.