SAN TAN VALLEY (3TV/CBS5) -- The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a 12-year-old student was shot in the leg in San Tan Valley.
PCSO received a call from the Gila River Police Department on Wednesday, Feb. 6, just after 6 p.m., after a 12-year-old boy was admitted to the hospital for a possible gunshot wound to the leg.
During the course of the investigation, the student claimed that at approximately 3:20 p.m. that day, he was at the football field of Champion School in San Tan Valley with his friend when he heard a pop and his leg started to hurt.
At the time, he told school staff that he had been hit by a baseball.
The student’s mother was already at the school to pick up another child, and staffers helped the student get into his mother's car.
"His teacher runs up and says, 'Kevin's hurt. He's crying, he's in a lot of pain,'" Carmen Valenzuela recalled.
At first, his mother took him home. When she removed his shorts, she noticed a hole in his leg and a small amount of blood.
"I call the school immediately because there's (sic) still kids running around on campus until 4:45 because there are after school sports," Valenzuela said.
The boy was then admitted to Gila River Health Care so doctors could examine his leg.
It was at this point that doctors felt the boy may have suffered a small caliber gunshot wound, and doctors notified law enforcement.
"It shows up and you see the two little fragments in his leg and she's like, 'I can't really say anything but in my experience, that's a bullet,'" Valenzuela said.
Soon after, the child was transported to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
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. Nobody reported hearing any gunshots.
PCSO says initial evidence shows some indication that the student was possibly shot at close range, but PCSO is "waiting for more conclusive results."
The school has been extremely cooperative during the entire investigation and has taken all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all students.
Valenzuela said the school did not send a letter home to parents until six days after the incident.
Champion Schools released this statement:
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.
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 any way.
This is still an ongoing investigation and more information will be released as it becomes available.