Families Give Differing Accounts of Vadnais Heights Weapons Seizure

June 28, 2018 02:12 PM

UPDATE: Charges against Christopher Stowe have been dropped.

Two families in Vadnais Heights have differing opinions as to why dozens of weapons were found inside the home of a 13-year-old student.


On Friday, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said it seized a cache of guns, ammunition and an explosive device at a home on the 4200 block of Desoto Street.

A 13-year-old student, along with his parents Chris and Lisa Stowe, were arrested. Chris and Lisa Stowe are being held in the Ramsey County Jail and the boy is at a juvenile detention center.

RELATED: Guns, Ammunition, Other Items Seized at Home of Student in Vadnais Heights, Sheriff Says

The raid was prompted by Jessica Pigg, whose child is a classmate of the 13-year-old at the Academy for Sciences and Agriculture. Pigg said the student threatened to shoot up the school and her son.

"It could have been a tragedy," Pigg said.

Pigg said her son texted her about the threats Wednesday and asked if he could stay home from school. She said she called the school to discuss the issue. Pigg claims an administrator downplayed the issue and referred to it as a conversation that got out of hand.

Mark Stowe, the 13-year-old's grandfather, confirmed the district met with the teen and Chris Stowe. Mark Stowe said his grandson received a two-day suspension leading into spring break.

"This is going to be behind us," Stowe said. "The case is closed. The situation has been taken care of. This was not a threat, it's all taken care of."

Pigg did not think the suspension was enough.

"They're in charge of our children's safety and they neglected to keep our children safe," she said.

On Thursday, she took her fears to the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office. A spokesperson confirmed Pigg notified them about the issue.

Mark Stowe confirmed the family has many guns and said they are part of a collection. He said most of them are unloaded and are kept in safes.

However, when the sheriff's office arrived Friday, they claim some guns could be easily accessed by the teen.

"There was something that had the potential look of a repeat in Florida, which needed to be investigated and I think panic set in," Mark Stowe said. "I believe the sheriff did a knee-jerk reaction. Instead of calling the principal, he did this. I think he screwed up and screwed up real bad."

Pigg, however, believes the teen and the parents need help.

"There were over 80 guns, illegal automatic guns in the home," she said.


Beth McDonough

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