OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A woman in Oswego was seen pointing a loaded shotgun at a school bus on Tuesday, Lieutenant Damian Waters told NewsChannel 9.

Waters says the woman, 42-year-old Rita M. Powers of Oswego, had gone into a nearby home where she stole the loaded shotgun.

After leaving the home, Powers began to wander the area of West Schuyler Street near Montcalm Park and pointed the shotgun at a school bus passing by, police say.

Four grade school children and two bus aides were on board at the time of the incident. The adults on the bus saw Powers, but police say the children on the bus did not see what occurred.

Shawn Miller, a neighbor who lives just two blocks away from the scene, told NewsChannel 9’s Adrienne Smith that his own children were walking just a block away at the time of the incident.

“I’m just glad my children didn’t come in contact with that woman,” — Shawn Miller

With the help of neighbors calling police, Powers was arrested within minutes.

It’s not everyday you see someone walking around with a shotgun in our community. I don’t think it’s probably common anywhere for that matter. But several of the neighbors did what they were supposed to do and immediately were calling 911, providing descriptions, direction of travel. The neighbors did what they were supposed to do.

Lt. Damian Waters, Oswego Police Department

Powers was charged with the following according to officials: 

  • Burglary in the first degree (b felony)
  • Criminal possession in the 3rd degree (d felony)
  • Reckless endangerment in the 1st degree (d felony)
  • Grand larceny in the 4th degree (e felony)
  • Menacing in the 2nd degree (a misdemenaor)
  • Petit larceny (a misdemeanor)

The Oswego Police Department is working with the Oswego City School District to provide notifications to those involved. 

Powers was arraigned at the Oswego County Family Court on Wednesday afternoon.

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has further information is encouraged to call the Oswego Police criminal investigation division.