North High dean defuses confrontation with armed student

A staff member at North Community High School in Minneapolis stepped between two students after one allegedly threatened the other with a handgun. Prosecutors charged the 18-year-old suspect Friday, more than three weeks after the incident.

According to the charges, on Feb. 8, Deandre Antiown Depratto Jr. was outside a dean's office when he and another student got into an argument.

The dean told police that she saw Depratto pull a gun from his backpack and point it at the other teen. The staff member, who’s not fully identified in court documents, told investigators that Depratto seemed to "snap out of it” after she told him to put the weapon down.

In a criminal complaint, Hennepin County prosecutors write that the dean “feared for her life, but believed that the defendant would not shoot her.”

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Another dean, identified as Lamar Wright, asked Depratto to hand him the weapon, but Depratto refused. Wright told investigators that because he feared for his safety, he did not attempt to disarm Depratto. Wright escorted the teen out of the building.

According to a search warrant from Minneapolis police, the alleged victim “reported to officers that he has known [Depratto] for several years and considered him a friend until this event.”

Officers arrested Depratto Wednesday at his mother's house in Minneapolis after tracking his mobile phone there. They did not recover a weapon. Depratto is charged with second-degree assault. At a Friday hearing, Judge Peter Cahill set bond at $100,000.

Depratto is jailed on the assault charge and for an alleged probation violation connected to a 2022 juvenile carjacking charge originally filed in Ramsey County.

In the search warrant, Minneapolis police say Depratto is also suspected in three other carjackings.