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4 weapons recovered outside Coon Rapids Homecoming game; 4 charged

Police say the incident began when a group not affiliated with the school or district attempted to get into the football game and was turned away.

COON RAPIDS, Minn. — Four people are facing charges after an incident outside the Coon Rapids High School Homecoming game Thursday night led to four guns being confiscated. 

On Friday, Anoka County prosecutors announced charges against Ishmail Kamara and Josiah Wesseh, Jr., both 19, with possession of a dangerous weapon on school property, and possession of a firearm without a serial number.

Two juvenile delinquency petitions were also filed, alleging both of the suspects were in possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person under 18, and possessed a firearm with no serial number. 

Coon Rapids police say on the night of the incident, a team of officers was providing additional security at the stadium following other recent incidents at high school football games. At one point in the evening, district staff turned away a group of adult and juvenile males not from Coon Rapids H.S. or the Anoka-Hennepin district, and police were escorting them from the grounds when a witness reported seeing a member of the group carrying a gun. 

Officers recovered three guns from a vehicle in the parking lot that belonged to the group, and as the individuals were attempting to leave in another vehicle, they were stopped by several squad cars. Police say a fourth weapon was found in that vehicle. 

“Due to the quick actions of a concerned citizen, Coon Rapids High School staff, and the officers working the homecoming game, several parties were arrested and guns were removed from the street," said Police Chief John Stahnke in a released statement. "We appreciate our community partnerships, and will continue to prioritize school safety in our community.”

Coon Rapids police Captain Adam Jacobson said the department, along with the district has been monitoring security at events ever since the shooting that happened outside of a Richfield High School football game last month. Jacobson said they had already added extra patrols for the homecoming game Thursday night, with nine officers working.

"We're constantly re-evaluating and working with Anoka-Hennepin schools to make sure that the events or any event in the city is safe for our citizens or anyone coming to visit," Jacbson said. "We'll re-evaluate it, look at the situation, but again, I think this is an example of how the system that we had in place worked to prevent something bad from happening."

In a message to families, Coon Rapids High School Principal John Peña added that the district "recently increased security procedures at events to ensure safety following incidents at other metro area high schools." Among those measures are limiting entrance "to students at participating schools with identification and adult supervision for younger students."

"Protecting the safety of students, staff and visitors continues to be a priority at Coon Rapids High School... please understand that we are unable to share additional information due to data privacy concerns and an ongoing law enforcement investigation," Peña said.

Police say none of the weapons were fired during the incident.

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