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No charges yet in bus case

Posted: October 8, 2008 8:39 p.m.
Updated: December 10, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Deputies and the Los Angeles District Attorney's office aren't in a rush to file charges against an alleged suicidal girl who brought a gun on a city transit bus, a sheriff's official said.

"Our main concern is the girl's emotional health," said Lt. Brenda Cambra of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's station.

The 17-year old Saugus girl sent a text message to her friend, a local high school student Oct. 2.

In the message, the girl said she was toting a .45-caliber hand gun and was contemplating suicide, Sgt. Darren Harris said. Deputies reached the girl by cell phone while she rode the route 6 bus, with the loaded gun, west on Soledad Canyon Road. Deputies contacted the bus driver who feigned mechanical problems, which allowed authorities to swoop in and grab the girl and the gun before she did harm to herself or others, he said.

The girl was under psychological evaluation for 72 hours following the incident and then released to her family where she continues to undergo counseling, Cambra said.

Deputies concluded their investigation and handed all the evidence to the county District Attorney's office, Cambra said.

"At this point it is unclear whether the girl will be charged," she said. Her emotional state is one reason, the facts of the case also factor in, she said.

"It's not like the girl pulled the gun out and threatened anyone with it. She was only a threat to herself," Cambra said.

If the district attorney presses charges, the girl can be charged with possession of a concealed firearm, possession of a firearm in public and a minor in possession of live ammunition.


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