BREAKING NEWS: Janitor arrested in connection with gun found at school

Marissa Conrad

Read more in Monday’s edition of The Daily Northwestern

A 72-year-old janitor at Kingsley Elementary School was arrested Thursday night after police learned he owns the handgun found in a school bathroom Jan. 4.

Charles Scott, a daytime janitor at the Evanston school, told police he owned the gun after a search on the weapon led to his arrest, said Chief Frank Kaminski of Evanston Police Department.

Police are still investigating how the weapon ended up in a grocery bag on the floor of a school bathroom, where it was found and turned in by a 7-year-old student.

“(Scott) admits it’s his weapon,” Kaminski said at a press conference Friday afternoon. “We’re very confident this is his gun that he had and he bought illegally.”

A search performed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led police to the gun’s original owner, who said the weapon was stolen in the early ’90s, Kaminski said.

Interviews and additional investigation led police to Scott.

Scott, an Evanston resident who has worked for Evanston/Skokie School District 65 for 29 years, faces suspension and recommended termination, District 65 Superintendent Hardy Ray Murphy said at the press conference.

Kingsley Elementary School, 2300 Green Bay Road, performs an electronic background check on all employees but did not begin that system until February 2000.

Scott was grandfathered in and did not have a background check on the record, Murphy said.

The district will discuss the best way to change this policy, he added.

Scott was suspended in 1996 for a dispute with another employee in the school cafeteria, Murphy said.

Scott is charged with unlawful use of a weapon for having a handgun on school grounds, which is a felony.

He is also charged with not having a firearm owner identification card and for possessing a handgun, which is illegal in Evanston. He has a pending assault charge for an incident that happened off school property in November.

Scott is scheduled to appear Feb. 1 at Circuit Court in Skokie.