Three students were hurt on Wednesday when a classmate fired a police officer’s AR-15 rifle during a safety demonstration at an elementary school in Chino, Calif.
Tamrin Olden, a spokeswoman for the Chino Police Department, said the assault rifle was latched on a motorcycle for display during a drug-awareness presentation at Newman Elementary School.
“The rifle was … secured in the mount on the motorcycle during the incident,” Olden said at an evening news conference. “The child did approach the mounted rifle.”
The Daily Mail reports a student pulled the trigger on the weapon at around 11:15 a.m. The bullet hit a protective metal plate and shattered, creating shrapnel that apparently hit three children and received minor injuries.
A Chino Valley Fire Department spokesperson said two students were treated at local hospitals and one student was treated at school for scrapes and cuts, but none of the injured children were shot.
“The cops were playing with the kids, handball. Four square, I mean,” said Leo Castaneda, 11, told CBS 2. “They were giving out stickers.”
According to Castaneda, the student went over to the police motorcycle and fired the AR-15 at the ground. The student got startled by the shot and fled into a nearby field.
Officials say all rifles have now been detached from department motorcycles and the Chino police are investigating the incident.
Police did not give any details as to why a loaded weapon was brought onto school property for a safety demonstration.
According to the Daily Mail, police officers were at the school for Red Ribbon Week, a national event aimed at preventing children from using drugs.
“The Chino Police Department is conducting a thorough investigation into this matter in full cooperation with the Chino Valley Unified School District,” the city of Chino said in a statement.