Employee who brought gun to Southern High no longer with GDOE

GUN ON CAMPUS: Police officers respond to Southern High School on May 2 after a loaded gun went missing from a vehicle that had been broken into. Post file photo

A Southern High School student accused of stealing a loaded handgun from a vehicle parked on the school campus on May 2 is awaiting the outcome of criminal charges filed against him.

The person who brought that handgun onto the school campus that day in violation of both school policy and Guam law was placed on administrative leave, but never charged or named.

The Guam Gun-Free School Zone Act of 2004 prohibits anyone from bringing a gun onto a school campus.

The student, 17-year-old Christian Brian Quinata, was charged in the Superior Court of Guam on May 4 with burglary to a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm without a Guam firearms identification card, illegal possession of a concealed firearm and possession of a firearm in a school zone.

Quinata is alleged to have broken into two vehicles, according to the complaint.

One belonged to Jesse SA Mateo, who reported that he left his white 2015 Toyota Tacoma truck parked in the school auditorium basement parking lot. The doors were locked.

Mateo told police that when he returned to his vehicle about noon that day, he “found his personal belongings scattered throughout the vehicle. The items had previously been contained in a black pouch.”

Mateo advised fellow teacher Lawrence Franquez to check his vehicle. Franquez found the front passenger door of his black 2011 Toyota Tacoma unlocked. Inside the pickup a number of items were missing, the complaint states.

Soon after the incident, GDOE spokeswoman Isa Baza said, "We have identified the employee who owns the firearm and that employee has been placed on administrative leave pending completion of our investigation.”

Guam Police Department spokesman Sgt. Paul Tapao has also said the case remains under investigation.

In an Aug. 2 radio interview on ThePoint, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez told host Ray Gibson that “the employee is no longer with the department.”

Fernandez said he would not comment on the investigation or whether any disciplinary action was taken. He said his responsibility is to keep those matters confidential.

A Freedom of Information Act request revealed that no adverse action has been taken against either Mateo or Franquez.

A second FOIA requesting documentation of any resignations since the May 2 incident revealed five employees had resigned.

Among them was Franquez, whose resignation from his $51,000 teaching position at Southern High School became effective June 21.

Mateo remains employed at the school as a physical education teacher.