A student was found with a firearm in his backpack at Erwin Elementary School, the latest gun incident on school campuses.
According to Erwin Police Chief Jonathan Johnson, school officials, and the school resource officers found the loaded handgun in a backpack of a fourth grader after students reported it.
“It is not possible to imagine that things like this would occur in high school, but never in elementary school,” said two fourth-graders from Erwin who were in the class where the gun was found.
Officials quickly found the gun and it was not fired. The school was never put on lockdown. Although there were no injuries, additional police officers were present at the school throughout that day.
“Everyone was just crying in the classroom.” “Some of us were trying to comfort the other ones, but like that’s scary!” the fourth-graders said.
The fourth-graders said the student who brought the gun pointed it at another student in the bathroom. Johnson said the police are still investigating this.
“We’re following up on on that along with some other talk and stuff that’s going around,” Johnson said.
He said that police are still investigating whether or not charges will be brought against the student and parents.
Johnson said that one of the most significant is leaving your firearm unlocked so that a minor can access it. Johnson stated that we are looking into this now to determine what possible charges might be brought forward.
Parents and guardians have been notified by the school system.
A school spokesperson stated that “As school districts, we take all matters concerning stakeholder safety seriously” and worked diligently to notify anyone affected as quickly as possible.
Johnson credits a part of the quick response to the school resource officer’s presence.
“It helps, you know, things will happen. There will be instances where weapons might get on school property. Johnson stated, “I was able to locate the juvenile because of his training and that of the school staff.”
This is the fifth incident of gun violence at a school in this area.
“We have been seeing this a lot. As a Moms Demand Action volunteer, and as a parent, it’s a major concern. There are two things parents can do about this concern. One is that we can get the word out about how important it’s to securely store firearms,” Carey Ruddell (Wake County communications lead for Moms Demand Action) said.
Ruddell stated that she encourages parents to help local legislators pass common-sense gun policies.
They had the opportunity to pass a gun safety program that would have prevented such incidents, but instead, they combined it with harmful policies that were intended to please the gun lobbies. Ruddell stated that parents need to reach out and tell their lawmakers how important gun safety is to them.
She stated that there should be more gun safety conversations in districts and communities.
As an extra layer of safety, the Harnett County School District will be adding additional officers to Erwin Elementary next week.