Crime

Parking lot dispute at a Tri-City school ends after student pulls out a gun off campus

Mahasse Cornileus, a Chiawana High School coach and paraeducator, remains on paid administrative leave while facing allegations he forced himself on a woman at her Richland retail store.
Mahasse Cornileus, a Chiawana High School coach and paraeducator, remains on paid administrative leave while facing allegations he forced himself on a woman at her Richland retail store. Tri-City Herald

An argument that started when students were being picked up at Chiawana High School escalated when a student reportedly got out of a car with a gun.

The drivers of a Grand Am and a pickup were in the high school parking lot that was packed with cars trying to pick up students before 3 p.m. Friday, said Pasco police.

The drivers and a teen in the Grand Am began arguing about one of the vehicles being cut off, according to a police department Facebook post on Monday.

The pickup followed the Grand Am as it left the school, tailing it through multiple turns, until both vehicles stopped on St. Thomas Drive near the corner of Road 100 and Broadmoor Boulevard just south of Interstate 182.

The drivers continued their argument there, with the student in the Grand Am allegedly getting out of the car holding a pistol pointed down against his leg, said police reports.

The student riding in the pickup called 911.

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By the time police arrived, the Grand Am had left. But a nearby officer stopped it as it was turning onto Road 100.

Northbound traffic was diverted onto Chapel Hill Boulevard.

Police briefly detained some people, putting them in handcuffs, but no one was eventually arrested. Several people were in the Grand Am, said police.

The case will be reviewed for potential charges, police said.

Police have told the Pasco School District that the student did not have the gun while he was on the Chiawana High campus, said Shane Edinger, school district spokesman.

Students who have a gun on campus face expulsion under state law.

District officials are cooperating with the police investigation, Edinger said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 509-628-0333 or email officer Justin Greenhalgh at greenhalghj@pasco-wa.gov.

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