Commonwealth Journal

News Live

April 22, 2013

Student has gun at Southern Elementary


Wood said the boy’s father, with whom he lives, spoke to the sheriff’s department at length yesterday, and once all the facts of the case are ascertained, authorities will determine if additional charges may be placed against anyone else, such as the father.
Wood said that he told the boy that he “applaud(ed) him for not trying to conceal the gun or hide it, and stay out of trouble.”
However, while not believing the student meant to use the gun violently, “we know accidents happen,” said Wood. “Someone might be looking at the gun who doesn’t know about any type of gun safety, or it could go off accidentally and shoot (the juvenile suspect) himself. There are so many scenarios that could go wrong and pose so many different threats.”
A letter from Keith Patrick, principal at Southern Elementary, was sent home to parents and guardians of students, and stated the following:
“I have the unfortunate task of informing you that a student brought a gun to school before school hours this morning. The student did not ride a bus, but was parent drop off. Upon arriving at school and before school started, he informed his teacher that he had it and the matter was resolved without incident, prior to the start of class. The student did not express any disgruntlement with any student or staff at school.
Regardless of the self-report and seemingly lack of motive on the part of the student, this matter is being handled with the utmost concern, urgency and seriousness that it deserves. The Pulaski County School System will pursue any criminal charges as allowable and the student was removed from school. 
This incident was turned over to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department for full investigation.
I want you to know that acts such as this will not be tolerated and will always be fully prosecuted. We, the staff, strive to do everything in our power to keep your child safe here during the school day.”

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