PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A Portland mother is facing five charges after a gun was fired inside the Jason Lee Elementary School cafeteria in northeast Portland Thursday afternoon.
Police arrested Antoinette Riley, who made her first appearance in court Friday afternoon.
Officers said Riley was picking up her son from an after-school program when a gun inside her backpack went off.
A spokesperson for Portland Public Schools said the single shot caused minimal damage and police confirmed nobody was hurt.
But Riley told FOX 12 she never had a gun and maintains that officers arrested the wrong person.
“I did not do it. I didn’t do it,” she said from her northeast Portland home. “Why would I harm a student? Or even harm anybody at all? My kids, they literally go to school there, so I’m just like, this is stupid.”
She said she was sitting at a table with her son when the shot went off. She said the bullet even struck her, but she didn’t see where it came from.
“I went to go reach for my phone, literally my phone is right next to my bag, and all I hear is a boom,” she said. “I got shot in my butt.”
She said the cafeteria was crowded with dozens of students, along with a few teachers and parents for a program called SUN, or Schools Uniting Neighborhoods.
Riley said, like a lot of other families there at the time, she left the school with her kids.
“Everybody was panicking,” she said. “Everybody was trying to get out of there. Everybody. Literally. I’m being honest.”
Portland Police contacted her a few blocks away.
Court records showed that a staff member at the school identified Riley as the suspect and investigating officers said there was a hole in her backpack consistent with a bullet hole.
They never found the gun.
Riley told Fox 12 her backpack was ripped.
“They checked my bag, they checked me about 35 times and couldn’t find anything,” she recalled. “So now I’m being looked at as the bad guy and I’m getting charges I don’t feel like I should get charges for.”
The assistant principal at the school sent home a letter to families explaining what happened and wrote in part: “This is an alarming incident and we’re thankful no one was hurt.”
FOX 12 reached out to Portland police for a response to Riley’s claims of innocence, but a spokesperson for the bureau said it is their policy not to comment on the statements made by suspects.
Riley has no prior criminal record. Her next court date on this case is in mid-October.
Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.