LAUDERHILL, FLA. (WSVN) - An elementary school student has been charged with several counts of aggravated assault after police say he brought a loaded firearm to school and brandished it at his fellow students.
Lauderhill Police said the 9-year-old boy brought a loaded gun on the campus of Lauderhill Paul Turner Elementary School on Tuesday morning.
According to investigators, the student brought a .380 caliber Ruger handgun and aimed it at three classmates, stating “You see this? This is a real gun.”
Police said the student also made reference to being bullied by his classmates.
“We do know that the parents did respond and were very cooperative and very visibly upset by this incident, but as far as the history of the child, all of that is still under investigation at this time,” said Yvette Marquez-Perkins with the Lauderhill Police Department.
A School Resource Officer was notified of the threatening remarks and took possession of the gun.
“The vice principal of the school immediately alerted the School Resource Officer,” said Marquez-Perkins. “The Lauderhill School Resource Officer who responded disarmed the child without any incident, and the school was rendered safe as soon as the child was disarmed. It was determined through the preliminary investigation that this was an isolated incident. That the three children that were threatened with the gun and the child that brought the gun to school had issues that may have been related to bullying.”
The student was taken into custody and charged with possession of a firearm on school property and three counts of aggravated assault.
No injuries were reported.
“This can’t happen. With a kid this young bringing a gun to school, parents need to be speaking to their kids more about this type of – I mean this is wrong,” said parent Alex Zartha. “It’s a good school, good teachers. This is something I would never have expected.”
The school’s principal, Richard Garrick, sent a notification to parents about the incident:
“One of our students reported that another student was in possession of a gun on campus. School staff and our School Resource Officer immediately investigated and safely resolved the situation. We are continuing to work with the Lauderhill Police Department and the District’s Special Investigative Unit regarding this incident.”
The principal’s statement continued, “I commend the student who came forward with the information today. By speaking out, we were able to respond swiftly, enact all proper protocols, and ensure students and staff remained safe. The safety and security of our students and staff are always our highest priorities, and we encourage all students, parents, employees and community members – if you see something, say something.”
Parent Oseer Williams said he received the notification and wanted to hear about what happened immediately after it took place, given the current climate.
“There was a voicemail that I got after I picked him up, and I heard that this kind of took place like around 10:30 a.m.,” said Williams. “That’s always been on everyone’s mind lately in South Florida, and now to hear that something like this possibly could have happened — thank God is was thwarted — it’s very scary.”
The student was transported to the Broward Juvenile Assessment Center.
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