National News

Ferguson woman could face charges for pulling gun on school children

Posted December 18, 2017 4:32 p.m. EST
Updated December 18, 2017 4:42 p.m. EST

— A 60-year-old Ferguson woman could face criminal charges for confronting school children with a gun.

On November 8, Gail Boyd was arrested by Ferguson police for unlawful use of a weapon at the Northwinds Apartments. Boyd tells News 4 the incident happened around 3 p.m. immediately after a nearby elementary school dismissed for the day.

Boyd claims she possessed the weapon for self-defense and claims she's been the ongoing victim of vandalism and harassment at the complex.

"I came out with the weapon, I was tired of being harassed, I was tired of being violated," Boyd claimed.

After getting a knock at her door, Boyd says she answered but nobody was there. She grabbed her gun, walked outside to investigate and was surprised when she encountered three young boys.

"They saw the gun in my hand, two of them ran off, the other was petrified. I told him to come here, just come over to me. I said, 'little boy do you know what I could have done to you?'" Boyd recalled.

According to the St. Louis County Prosecutor's office, the case has been presented to their office, but official charges have not been filed.

The incident could cost Boyd her home.

Boyd tells News 4 she receives government assistance in the form of a Section 8 voucher to pay her rent. After the St. Louis Housing Authority learned about the incident, Boyd received a letter threatening to terminate her from the program. The letter stated, "you have engaged in criminal activity."

According to the St. Louis Housing Authority's Executive Director, Boyd will have an opportunity to defend herself at a hearing.

Cheryl Lovell tells News 4 residents are allowed to present their own evidence and adds "60 percent" of terminations are not upheld.

According to Lovell, the waiting list for Section 8 vouchers is approximately 23,000 people long in the city.

In 2016, 400 people lost their city-issued Section 8 vouchers for program violations.

Renters that receive Section 8 are allowed to own a gun as long as it's legally obtained, unless a specific landlord prohibits weapons on the property.

Boyd says she has a concealed carry permit and went through proper safety training when she purchased her guns.

Boyd has retained a lawyer and plans to fight any criminal charges or termination from her government assistance.