It was before 8 a.m. on Thursday, and students were already eating breakfast at KIPP Harmony Academy when a teacher’s assistant, Tracie Minor, walked into school and dropped her bag with her handgun in it just outside of the bathroom.
A few minutes later, the school custodian was walking out of the bathroom and found the bag lying in the second-floor school hallway. The custodian searched for a way to identify whose bag it was. Inside was a gun, which she took to the main office.
In the meantime, Minor, 35, had discovered her bag was missing and called or texted the principal of the West Baltimore charter school. “I may have lost my licensed gun and dropped it on my way into the school campus,” she told Harris. Yes, Harris said, she had the gun, and she asked Minor to meet her in the main office.
Those were the details in charging documents.
The gun was loaded with 12 bullets but had no round in the chamber. A second magazine, which had 15 rounds, was turned over to police as well. The gun is registered to Minor, and she has a valid handgun permit.
Minor told school police she was rushing to get to work and never intended to bring the bag with the gun into the building. She told them she uses it for protection when she leaves work.
Minor was arrested, taken to Central Booking, and charged with nine counts related to having a gun on school campus and near children, according to court records. She was released on bond.
On Thursday, KIPP Baltimore officials had no comment. They did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. The city school system said in a statement that it could not comment on any disciplinary measures that would be taken because it is a personnel issue. Minor is an employee of KIPP, a charter school operator, but not the school system.
No one answered a phone listed for Minor on Friday. An attorney was not listed in court records.
Four other guns were found in other city high schools this week.