Teen who brought gun to school pleads guilty

Nov. 7—A Kokomo teen charged with bringing a gun to school has pleaded guilty to all charges against him.

Jirique Burton, 18, pleaded guilty last week in Howard County Superior Court II to felony counts of dangerous possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm on school property and counterfeiting. The plea was accepted by Howard County Superior Court II Judge Brant Parry. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 19.

The two possession charges each carry a possible prison term of between one to six years, while the counterfeiting charge carries a possible prison term of six months to two and a half years.

Burton’s plea does not carry an agreed upon imprisonment term, giving Parry discretion on how long to sentence the teenager.

Burton was arrested and charged in June 2022 after police found a loaded handgun in his backpack, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The arrest was made because the Kokomo Police Department received a call that morning from an employee at Kinsey Youth Center. The caller told police they received reliable information that Burton had purchased a handgun the previous weekend and possibly had the handgun with him at the Excel Center, where he was enrolled in school.

KPD officers went to the Excel Center and confronted Burton, asking him to remove his backpack, according to the narrative. Officers asked Burton if they could search his backpack, but Burton told them no, according to police.

Police then called Burton’s grandmother, who was his legal guardian, and asked her to meet them at the police station, where they were going to take the teenager.

After arriving at the station, the Kinsey employee called again and informed police Burton was on probation, and the rules of his probation allowed any law enforcement to search for anything on him, according to the affidavit.

When police searched the backpack, they found a loaded Ruger .380 semiautomatic handgun. Burton was then arrested.

A month before his arrest, Burton was the victim of a shooting outside Buddy’s Mart in the 400 block of North Apperson Way.

In that incident, Burton was shot in the left elbow and right and left thigh shortly after leaving the convenience store.

Michael Pullums, a fellow teenager, was arrested and charged in the shooting of Burton after police received an anonymous tip.

Pullums is facing felony attempted murder and criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon charges, and his legal case is still in litigation.

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich.

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