A third grader in Minneapolis, Minnesota somehow managed to get his hands on a handgun and sneak the firearm into elementary school. The weapon discharged outside of the Bethune Community School after classes were dismissed. Fortunately, nobody was injured.
School staff members followed protocol and immediately contacted the local authorities, who have begun investigating the incident. A police spokesman refused to confirm whether or not the child carried the gun around with him during the entire school day.
The child was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital Home for Children under a health and welfare hold while authorities determined if the child was under any other danger. Police are still trying to piece together how the child had access to a firearm and how he managed to sneak it into school unnoticed.
An official statement released by the Minneapolis Public School system reads, “We believe that a student accidently [sic] discharged a firearm outside of the school prior to students being dismissed this afternoon at approximately 3 p.m. We understand that the firearm was discharged from inside of a student's backpack. Again, no students or staff members were injured and although very few students were present at the time of the incident, some students may have heard a firearm shot or seen smoke. A School Messenger phone message was sent to Bethune families informing them of this incident after school dismissed.”
Rachel Hicks, the Director of Media Relations for the school system, also sent a message to parents alerting them to the incident.
Stephen Smith, who lived across from the school, told reporters, “I don’t think anyone wants to hear that third grader had a gun in their community… a third grader who doesn’t really know or understand what it really means to have a gun, [it’s] very very concerning.”
There is currently no indication that the police will press any charges against the parents.