Tennessee 5-year-old detained after firing handgun in school cafeteria
A 5-year-old kindergartener has reportedly been detained at a school in Tennessee after a handgun discharged in the cafeteria.
Shawn Pachucki with Shelby County Schools told WMCT that police were called to Westside Elementary School following a gunshot that happened in the cafeteria at around 7:30 a.m. Pachucki said that the child brought the gun to school in a backpack and it accidentally discharged.
“This morning at Westside Elementary School, a Kindergarten student brought a firearm to school in his backpack,” a statement from Shelby County Schools said. “While waiting for the opening bell in the cafeteria, the firearm discharged accidentally inside the child’s backpack. Nobody was injured, and staff immediately took possession of the backpack.”
The statement added: “SCS Security and the Memphis Police Department responded quickly, and the matter is now under investigation. There is no evidence at this time of harmful intent; however, weapons of any kind are prohibited on campuses, and this student will be disciplined in accordance with the state’s zero tolerance policy.”
Reports said that the child was being held inside the principal’s office.
While Westside Elementary remained in session on Thursday, many parents who heard the news came to take their children home early.
“We’re gonna have to get together to see what we should do from this moment on because you know what you can do when you’re sitting back watching it on the news but when it’s happening right in your face, that’s a lot,” parent Preston Warmley told WMCT.
Watch this video from WMCT, broadcast Aug. 22, 2013.
[Photo credit: Child holding a toy gun via Shutterstock]