It was a coordinated effort to uncover how a gun was placed in the ceiling tiles plus four bullets in and underneath a trash can in the men’s bathroom at the Career and Technical Education Academy in Sioux Falls on Friday.

Sioux Falls Police Captain Blaine Larsen says the investigation began after the discovery.

“Friday night (around 10:00 PM) an employee of the school found a small caliber handgun at the CTE Academy. No response occurred that night because there were no students around. The following morning we did a full call out where we had detectives, School Resource Officers and employees from the Sioux Falls School District involved trying to figure out how it got into the school.”

Investigators worked throughout the weekend to get the real story which according to Larsen did not put students in jeopardy.

“We don’t believe at any point in time there was any threat to the kids. Of course that was paramount to us in this investigation and critical to the Sioux Falls School District. We think it was some bad decisions on this employee’s part and we don’t believe there was any threat at any time to students’ safety.”

Police arrested 25-year old Joseph Jay Croal of Sioux Falls on misdemeanor charges of possession of a firearm on school property. Sioux Falls Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Maher is committed to using this series of events as a teaching moment for the district.

“We had a lot of things go right here. We have a very robust surveillance camera system which helped us tremendously in this situation. We’ll go back and do a table talk exercise when this is done and try to figure out what gaps did we have and what we could have done better from a preventative standpoint and what could we have done better from Friday night to Monday morning.”

Over two dozen students were interviewed during the investigative process to determine how the gun got into the school’s bathroom.

Court documents reviewed by KSFY television indicate that the gun and bullets were located in a vehicle that was donated to the school for students to use as a teaching tool.


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