COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A loaded semi-automatic gun was found Wednesday morning in a 6-year-old student’s backpack at a private school in north Columbus, according to Columbus police.
Police are now investigating why it ended up at Kids Care elementary school.
“I mean that’s crazy for a little kid to have a gun around, he’s too young,” parent, Maria Mendez said.
Police said he brought it in a backpack.
Maria Mendez said she got a call from Kids Care elementary after it was found.
“They called that something was going on with school, but that everything was fine,” Mendez said.
Police said the first grader stole the gun from his grandfather who he lives with and it was reported as stolen the day before.
“I was shocked, but it’s just like today’s world guns are accessible to children and when parents or relatives have it in their possession,” granparent, Carl Diggs said.
Police always preach that if you see something, say something and that’s what happened in this case. The child showed the weapon to another student and that child told a teacher.
“I think it’s horrible, but I’m glad that one student that told the teacher I’m glad that was done,” Diggs said.
The child and gun were taken into custody and he was questioned by police about why he did it.
“We really don’t know why the kid brought the gun to school other than show and tell or bragging or showing off,” Detective David Bucy with Columbus police department said.
NBC4 looked up the school and it’s rated an F by the Ohio Department of Education.
Although police said this was the first time this happened at this school, parents want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“They need to be watching more like the backpacks or whatever they are bringing to school,” Mendez said.
As for gun owners, officers want to reiterate that weapons need to be locked up away from children.
“This could have been the worst day that that school could have ever experienced. If you’re a firearm owner we expect it to be secured within house or on person at all times,”Bucy said.
Although the child is not being charged because of his age, this is still an open investigation.
Children services is now involved.
Kids Care Elementary issued the following statement:
This morning, Kids Care Elementary became aware of the existence of a firearm in a backpack on campus. The School immediately located and secured the firearm, notified the Columbus Police Department, and placed the School’s campus on lockdown. Once it was determined that no threat was posed to any students or staff at the School, the building resumed normal operations and notified members of the school community. Concerns for staff and student safety are always paramount to Kids Care Elementary, and the School takes any potential threats seriously. The Columbus Police Department commended the School for its handling of this incident, and we are proud of the School’s quick response to protect all staff and students from any potential harm and thankful to the police for their assistance.
Pursuant to federal and state student privacy laws, the School cannot disclose details pertaining to individual students. However, both the School and police have determined that there is no ongoing threat to staff or student safety, and the School will continue to cooperate with law enforcement in its investigation. As this remains an ongoing investigation, the School can provide no further comment at this time.