Two teenage boys are in custody after allegedly firing a pistol in a field adjacent to Sultana High School and Lime Street Elementary School Thursday afternoon.


Shortly after 2 p.m. on Thursday, Hesperia Unified School District police responded to a report that an adult had seen two teens in a field west of Sultana High School and north of Lime Street Elementary School holding a pistol and firing it.


"It happened in the field south of the football stadium," Superintendent Mark McKinney said Thursday evening.


Officers took two juveniles into custody west of E Avenue on Muscatel Street. They had no handgun on them at the time, but a search of the nearby roadway turned up a .22 caliber revolver and four empty shell casings in the cylinder.


"There were no live rounds left in the revolver," HUSD police chief Mike Graham said Friday. Neither teen had additional ammunition on them, he said.


The suspects were brought into the school's office, where the adult witness identified them as the pair he had earlier seen with the pistol.


Neither juvenile confessed to having fired the pistol, although one suspect says the other fired the gun into the air.


"The one that was [reportedly] actually doing the shooting was pretty mute about the whole thing," Graham said. "The other young man that was with him pretty much came clean."


"The kids were, for lack of a better word, were just firing shots in the air," McKinney said. "No kids were at risk or in any danger."


Sultana principal Tracy Marsh notified families of the incident at 5:30 Thursday night, using the HUSD's automated calling system, Connect-ED, which called more than 2,800 phone numbers in under 10 minutes.


"Today it was school as usual, with the exception that we are out on the campus a bit more, to be visible to the students," Marsh said Friday. "Even though it was a non-student incident, we still do take precautions."


Neither suspect is a Sultana High School student. They were arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon within 1,000 feet of a school, and were booked at juvenile hall.


"Fortunately no one was hurt, no one had a gun pointed at them, as far as we know," Graham said. "But they were within 1,000 feet of Sultana High and/or Lime Street, and that's a violation."


A third teen joined the pair after the alleged shooting incident, but was not witnessed being with them at the time, and was released without charge.


There is no indication that the gun was ever on Sultana's campus, according to McKinney.


"Any time shots are fired near a school, it's not a good thing."


"Whenever anyone's shooting a gun in the area, we consider it a threat to all," Graham said.


Marsh praised the speed of the police response, and said the HUSD and Sultana's staff is committed to keeping students safe.


"They were right on the scene. They're already on our campus, for goodness' sake," he said. "Although this a good campus, with good kids, you still can't take chances."


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.