Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 22, 2013

Student has gun at Southern Elementary

An 11-year-old student at Southern Elementary School is being charged with bringing a gun to school, though authorities believe he had no intention to do anyone harm.
The student — who, as a juvenile, was not named by official sources — apparently brought the compact pistol, a .25 model, to school by accident Monday morning.
Sonya Wilds, assistant superintendent of Pulaski County Schools, said that the student was a parent drop-off and did not ride the bus. After he arrived, he realized the gun was in his pocket after apparently carrying it in that pair of pants the night before.
“When he got to school, before school started, he told his teacher he had it,” said Wilds. “That was the right thing for him to do. He didn’t express any disgruntlement with any student or staff.”
Wilds said that both the student and his father stated that the suspect had the gun in the pocket the previous day, having allegedly used it for recreational sport shooting, and put the same pants on before going to school, apparently not realizing the gun was inside.
Pulaski County Sheriff Todd Wood said that there was a magazine with ammunition rounds inside the gun when it was turned over.
Wood said that the authorities retrieved the weapon from a safe location and it was given to School Resource Office Deputy Scott West. The student was taken to the sheriff’s department to await a court appearance to be held this morning, where Wood expects him to be tried as a juvenile.
Bringing a gun to school is a felony charge, noted Wood, but the ultimate penalties remain unclear due to the unusual nature of the offense.
“For an adult, a Class B felony like this would carry up to a five-year sentence,” said Wood, “but for a juvenile, I would not even care to speculate.”

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