NORFOLK (CBS) – A school bus driver has been arrested for allegedly having a loaded gun on the bus. Norfolk Police said students at King Philip Regional Middle School found the gun on a seat in the back of the bus Thursday, but none of them touched it.
The driver, 65-year-old David Tripp, of Norfolk, works for Holmes Bus Company which is hired by the school district.
A parent called police Thursday night to report students found the gun on the bus after school.
Tripp allegedly told police kids found a pellet gun on his bus and then he tossed it in the woods. Investigators wasted time there before finding the real gun at Tripp's home.
"I've known the individual for a long time. He's a long time Norfolk resident and I'm upset with him that he would do this to the residents in the town of Norfolk," said Police Chief Charles Stone.
After an investigation, officers determined the gun fell out of Tripp's pocket while he was cleaning up the bus after dropping off Norfolk elementary school students. No elementary school students came in contact or saw the gun, according to police.
When the gun was later found by the middle school students, Tripp allegedly took the gun, put it in his pocket and continued on his route without contacting police or the school. There were about 12 middle school students on the bus at the time.
Police said the gun was a Smith & Wesson .45 caliber. When it was taken from his home Friday, it was loaded with seven rounds, but did not have a round in the chamber.
Tripp has a License to Carry a Firearm, but it will be suspended. Police will also seize any and all firearms in his possession.
"This is a deeply disturbing situation in which an employee entrusted with the care and transportation of school children allegedly put them in danger by not only carrying a firearm on a school bus but being so reckless as to lose it and allow a child to find it," Superintendent Paul Zinni said. "This was an incredibly dangerous situation that could have turned tragic in the blink of an eye."
Tripp faces several charges including reckless endangerment of a child.
The King Philip School District serves the towns of Norfolk, Plainville and Wrentham.
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