Exclusive: Local 10 interview with school bus shooting witness
Local 10's Baron James' exclusive interview with a boy who witnessed the shooting on the school bus that killed Lourdes Guzman.
James: Tell me how the gun was being passed around. What did you tell police happened that day on the bus?
Witness: I told police that I put the bullets inside of the gun. I did not pull the sting back. I did not add anything to it. I just put the bullets in it and I put safety and then Jordyn put the gun on his waist band and the other girl she took it from Jordyn, you know, she had it on her lap. I don’t know what she was doing. She was touching it.
James: Was this not Lourdes, but another girl?
Witness: Another girl.
James: How did the gun end up shooting Lourdes?
Witness: Because after that, Lourdes Guzman, she took the gun from her and she kept like messing around with the gun. She put it on her head.
James: Lourdes put the gun to her head?
Witness: Yes and she put it to her neck and then she pointed it at everyone and me and Jordyn kept saying, “Stop playing with the gun because it is dangerous and it has bullets in it.”
James: What did she do? What did she say?
Witness: She just kept playing with it. The last time I saw her do something, she put it to her head and then a little while after I looked down to my phone and I heard the blast. So I looked around -- I was checking to see if everyone was alright. I looked under my shirt.
James: You thought you had been shot?
Witness: Yeah. So then I heard screaming and it was Lourdes. So then I picked Lourdes from the floor and I sat her on the seat and after that…
James: She was still alive at this point?
Witness: She was still alive. She was screaming and she was panicking. I sat her on the seat and I was taking care of her while the bus driver and the other girl was calling the cops and then…and then…
James: Where was the gun at that point?
Witness: It was on the floor. She dropped it. And then after that, Jordyn Howe picked up the gun and put it in his book bag because he panicked. He was there looking at Lourdes for like a minute and then he walked out because he was scared looking at blood. He told me before. So after that, I went off the bus, and Jordyn was saying, “I told her to put the gun down. Now look, she shot herself.” He said something like that.
James: You’re telling me that Jordyn Howe did not shoot Lourdes? That Lourdes Guzman shot herself?
James: Where was her little sister?
Witness: Her little sister was in the front. She was in the front of the bus playing with two other little girls.
James: So did she see all of this when it happened or after it happened?
Witness: After it happened.
James: So did you tell police exactly what you are telling me?
James: And when you told police this story, what did they say to you?
Witness: The detective told me that if I don’t tell the truth, that he’s going to put me in jail for life and that he was going to give me time and Jordyn’s going to spend his whole life in jail that’s what he gets for taking the gun and he kept trying to blame me. He was pressuring me really bad.
James: And this is after you told him this story that you told me?
James: So you're saying the police didn’t believe what you told them?
James: So finally did you tell them something else? Or did you stick with your own story?
Witness: The detective was saying. you know, 'You gotta say this. You gotta say the truth. You gotta say that Jordyn shot her because that’s what really happened.'"
James: What did you say then?
Witness: I said no, that is not what really happened and then he said, 'Just say -- right now we are going to record you say something that has to do with Jordyn, you know, like shooting her or something.' So after that he made me say that Jordyn like after I put the bullets in it that Jordyn put -- ended down (inaudible) that he pulled the trigger that nothing happened and when he lifted it up with one hand, that he shot her in the neck."
James: That is what the police told you to say?
Witness: That’s what the detective said.
James: You told them that’s not what happened?
James: When did you talk to police?
Witness: The day of the accident.
James: Like a few hours later?
James: Because you were in custody all that time?
James: You’ve also talked to the prosecutor?
James: You’ve told the prosecutor the same story?
Witness: The same story I am telling you.
James: So when you read the newspaper and you see what they are saying, what are you thinking when you read that in the newspaper?
Witness: I was pretty upset because, you know, I told the prosecutor what happened and I told the detective. I was mad because they said that Jordyn shot her and then after they put his face on TV and I got really mad.
James: You were saying too that this was not the first time Jordyn brought the gun to school?
Witness: No, he had taken it weeks before that.
James: This wasn’t the first time that Lourdes had seen the gun?
Witness: No, she’s touched it before. She’s grabbed it she's played with it.
James: So you know it was wrong to bring the gun to school, right?
Witness: Yes, I feel really bad. You know we’re kids. We were being stupid for taking the gun and, you know, its kind of our fault for not saying anything about it.
James: You think Jordyn should be punished?
Witness: I mean yeah he’s done a lot in these couple of months. I’m pretty sure he’s felt a lot of things. He’s been in prison for a couple of hours. He’s been in juvenile center. I think he’s paid his time at least for taking the weapon.
James: Do you feel responsible at all?
Witness: I kind of do because I put the bullets in it and for not saying anything about it. For not telling police or teachers or anything about the gun.
James: One last question -- What do you think about how the police have treated this as far as your story. What do you think of how the police have treated what you’ve told them?
Witness: Uh, I’m pretty upset because they didn’t believe me. They didn’t bring it out with the judge. They did nothing about it. They just ignored it.