Westside Elementary School in Springfield was placed on a soft lockdown Thursday morning after a loaded 9-millimeter handgun was taken from a 7-year-old boy, officials said.
“He was not mad at anyone, not threatening anyone,” Springfield Police Chief David Thompson said of the child. “So, it could’ve been worse, but anytime you have a weapon in a school, in the possession of a 7-year-old, there is a tremendous danger.”
Emergency responders were called to the school, at 309 Alsup Drive in Springfield, at 8:49 a.m., according to a Robertson County dispatcher.
Parents were notified by school messenger of the lockdown, which was lifted shortly after Springfield Police arrived, according to a statement issued by Robertson County Schools.
No one was hurt during the incident.
The Department of Children’s Services was called to the school, and later, took custody of the child, Thompson said.
The boy has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, according to a news release issued by the Springfield Police Thursday afternoon.
The Robertson County Times does not identify juvenile suspects unless they are charged in adult court.
Problems began at the school when the child showed the gun to another student, Thompson said.
That student then told a teacher about the gun, which was later found in the 7-year-old’s backpack, the chief said.
“At first, he says it’s a toy,” Thompson said of the boy. “Obviously, the teacher contacted the principal’s office, and the principal’s office contacted us. We’ve taken the weapon into evidence, and we’re checking the background on how it got there to see if anyone else will be held criminally liable for this situation.”
Westside Elementary School serves students in kindergarten through second grade.
The Springfield Police Department and Department of Children’s Services are continuing to investigate the incident.