A South Carolina elementary student brought a loaded handgun to his school because he wanted to ‘shoot zombies,’ Laurens Police Department Detective JC Brewington said Friday at a news conference .
A staff member at Laurens Elementary School found a “small cartridge shotgun” on a student’s desk seat, Laurens police spokesman Lt. Scott Franklin said, and then “took immediately informed the school administration and the school resource officer who then took possession of the firearm.”
“There was never any threat to other students or staff,” said Franklin, who also spoke at Friday’s press conference.
Laurens is about 40 miles from Greenville.
Ameca Thomas, superintendent of School District 55 in Laurens County, said at the press conference that a school resource officer responded immediately and other law enforcement officers were at the school in ” a few minutes”. The staff member who alerted school officials to the weapon acted in accordance with school protocol, she said.
“The process was fully followed by this member of staff, which mitigated against anything that might have happened that might have caused further damage,” said Thomas, who also asked parents to check backpacks daily. to make sure schools are safe.
According to the school district’s discipline code, the child who had the gun was removed from school and the incident will be the subject of a disciplinary hearing, Thomas added.
“We recognize the seriousness of this incident and are grateful that there were no physical injuries,” Thomas said.
Thomas too issued a statement regarding the incident on the school district’s website, saying no threats were made against any student or staff member.
“As always, we ask that you partner with your child’s school to help ensure that our schools are as safe as possible,” the statement read. “If you have any concerns, please share them with your child’s teacher, principal or school counselor.”
Franklin said authorities immediately determined the student took the gun from his grandfather’s residence. The grandfather was arrested and charged with unlawful conduct towards a child, Franklin said.
“The grandfather had the responsibility of securing the weapon,” Brewington said.
At a hearing on Saturday, a judge set bail at $40,000 for the grandfather, whose next court appearance is scheduled for March 18. It is not known if the grandfather is represented by a lawyer.
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