Police: Florida boy drops loaded handgun inside pre-kindergarten class

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Normal Police: Florida boy drops loaded handgun inside pre-kindergarten class

Post by raine1953 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:01 am

(CNN) -- Florida police are trying to figure out how a 5-year-old boy came into possession of a loaded handgun that he dropped inside a pre-kindergarten class.
A female pre-kindergarten teacher at Moseley Elementary School in Palatka was giving a music lesson Tuesday morning when she noticed the small, .22-caliber handgun fall out of the boy's pocket, Assistant Police Chief James Griffith said. The firearm did not go off, and no one was hurt.
But the boy, along with the gun, were promptly brought to school administrators. They alerted school security and police at 9:25 a.m., having determined that there was no immediate danger to the school, which is in Palatka in northeastern Florida.
"The boy is both initially a suspect in this thing, but also a victim," said Griffith. "This is very rare."
The boy told authorities that he found the firearm inside the vehicle that he had come to school in -- one which Griffith said belonged to the youngster's stepfather. Neither the boy or stepfather have been named, the assistant chief said, in order to protect the identity of the child, who is a minor.
Police say they have no indication that the boy made any threats or showed the weapon to anyone during his 30 to 45 minutes in school before the incident.
"There was nothing that transpired, as far as threats, showing the weapon off, anything like that," Griffith said. "At this point, we are trying to determine where the child got the gun from, and if any adult was negligent in allowing him to gain access (to it)."
The student was immediately suspended and barred from coming on school grounds pending the outcome of the investigation, while the state's Department of Children and Families is also looking into the case.
Putnam County Schools Superintendent Tom Townsend told CNN affiliate WJXT that the problem extends well beyond the youngster.
"This isn't the fault of the 5-year-old," Townsend said. "Someone is responsible for leaving a gun where a 5-year-old can access it, and that's a tragedy and it's inexcusable."
The police investigation could take "anywhere from weeks to months," the assistant chief said, while authorities look at evidence and conduct interviews. The boy's youth isn't much of a complicating factor, with Griffith saying that he "seems intelligent (and is) able to communicate well."
"You're trying to verify their version of what occurred," Griffith said of the child and others central to the case. "Do we have any witnesses to back up what they're saying, those types of things."
While authorities are investigating the case as a serious matter, they're also thankful that it did not turn out worse.
"That's what you always worry about, when a child gets their hand on a gun and its loaded," Griffith said. "The chances of an accidental discharge and someone getting shot by accident -- it's not good."

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Normal Re: Police: Florida boy drops loaded handgun inside pre-kindergarten class

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:19 am

Same location as the HaLeigh Cummings case. I hope it is none of the Croslin's.

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Normal Re: Police: Florida boy drops loaded handgun inside pre-kindergarten class

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:22 am

PALATKA, Fla. -- A 5-year-old boy got more than a trip to the principal's office after a teacher caught him with a gun.

The pre-kindergarten student was in a music class Tuesday when his teacher reported seeing the 22-caliber semi-automatic weapon fall from his pocket, according to a release from the police department.

She quickly picked the handgun up and told the school's administration about the incident, officers said.


Investigators discovered that the gun was loaded but say no rounds were in the chamber. The child told them he had found the weapon in his stepfather's vehicle.

Police are still trying to confirm the child's story and say the child's stepfather or another adult could face charges if they determine negligence in this case.

The child who had the gun has been suspended and can't go back to school until school authorities complete their own investigation.

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I cannot imagine. This is PRE-Kindergarten and this tot is already suspended from school. This boy is my little Noah's age. OMG! And in Satsuma/Palatka. Unreal!

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Normal Re: Police: Florida boy drops loaded handgun inside pre-kindergarten class

Post by Praying For Faith on Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:11 am

From the first article that raine1953 posted January 28, 2011 at 1:01
"This isn't the fault of the 5-year-old," Townsend said. "Someone is responsible for leaving a gun where a 5-year-old can access it, and that's a tragedy and it's inexcusable."

This is not the child's fault at 5 years old. I just hope that this 5 year old has not seen things happen that he should not be seeing. This really makes me wonder why the step father did not see the child take the gun and put it in his pocket. I am glad that there were no rounds in the chamber but the fact that it still was a loaded gun that the child got his hands on is not good. Thank goodness that no one got hurt.

It will be interesting to see what transpires as to why the step father had a loaded gun in his vehicle anyways.

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Normal Re: Police: Florida boy drops loaded handgun inside pre-kindergarten class

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:49 am

That poor kid. A 5 yr old with a loaded handgun is the responsibility of an adult! Just unbelievable that this happened. I hope he is placed in a good home because the one he has now does not have enough supervision.
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