SAN DIEGO – A Farb Middle School teacher was on compulsory paid leave today and facing possible felony charges for allegedly bringing a gun and knife to work, possibly as a means of defending himself in the event of a shooting or other violence at the campus, authorities reported.
Seventh- and eighth-grade English instructor Ned Carter Walker, 41, was taken into custody in a parking lot at the Tierrasanta school Monday morning and booked into county jail, according to San Diego Unified School District officials. He later posted bail and was released on his own recognizance.
SDUSD police Chief Rueben Littlejohn told reporters that Walker’s alleged decision to carry a loaded .380-caliber pistol and a knife with a 2 1/2- inch blade onto the school grounds may have been well-intentioned, but was nonetheless illegal and contrary to district regulations.
“We speculate that, based on reports from staff members, this employee had somewhat of an infatuation with guns and brought the weapon(s) to the school to protect himself in the event of a violent intruder,” Littlejohn said during a briefing late this morning.
Courtney Rizzo, interim principal at the La Cuenta Drive school, told parents in a letter that administrators were limited in the amount of information they could release on the allegations against Walker.
“Our focus is to continue to ensure that our students are safe, the learning process goes on as usual and we work with the proper authorities,” Rizzo wrote.
A conviction on either or both of the felony charges — one per weapon — that Carter could face in the case would be grounds for dismissal, district spokesman Jack Brandais said.