Fairfield police arrested a mother on suspicion of child endangerment and elder abuse after a gun was found in her 11-year-old daughter’s backpack Monday at a public library in Cordelia. Police said they also found a 92-year-old grandmother living in “deplorable conditions” in the home of the mother, 55-year-old Cordetta Spells-Ruta, when they subsequently made a welfare check.
Police went to the library at 5050 Business Center Drive around 5 p.m. Monday after a concerned parent reported a child had shown her child a handgun, police said. Both children are 11 years old, police said. Police responded and took the backpack containing the unloaded, small-caliber handgun away from the child. The child, a special needs student, told police the handgun was taken from a relative’s house in the Bay Area without an adult’s knowledge over the weekend, police said. The child had been showing the handgun to friends and was carrying it in the backpack, police said.
When Spells-Ruta arrived at the library, police said they learned another 11-year-old special needs sibling lives in the home and that both children fired the handgun in the backyard of their home the night before. Police said they arranged for a welfare check of the home and found “deplorable living conditions that were unsafe for children or adults.”
Solano County’s Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services were notified about the living conditions during an earlier incident, police said. The children were taken from the home and the 92-year-old grandmother was placed with other family in the Bay Area, police said. Spells-Ruta was booked into Solano County Jail on suspicion of felony elder dependent abuse and misdemeanor child endangerment, police said.
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