Kindergartner brings gun to Texas school, 3 hurt - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Kindergartner brings gun to Texas school, 3 hurt

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A Houston Independent School District police officer monitors an entrance after a shooting at Ross Elementary school Tuesday, April 19, 2011, in Houston. A Houston Independent School District police officer monitors an entrance after a shooting at Ross Elementary school Tuesday, April 19, 2011, in Houston.

HOUSTON (AP) — A kindergartner who brought a loaded gun Tuesday to his Houston elementary school was among three students injured by fragments when it fired after falling from his pocket as he sat down for lunch, officials said.

One bullet was fired about 10:35 a.m. in the Ross Elementary School cafeteria, spraying fragments at the students, said Houston Independent School District Assistant Police Chief Robert Mock.

"Either some type of chips off the floor, or it could be pieces of the round that discharged," Mock said. "They had some cuts and stuff on their legs, they don't appear to be life threatening."

Kennedi Glapion, 6, who was being picked up from school by her grandmother, said she saw the gun after it fell under a cafeteria table.

"It dropped on the floor, under the table. It was loud, it was so loud," said the kindergartner, who added that after the gun went off she was scared and started crying.

Glapion also said she saw one of the children who was injured and pointed to her right foot to indicate where the child was injured.

Two 6-year-old boys were wounded, including the one who had the gun. The boy who brought the gun was injured in his foot and the other boy was grazed in his leg, said Sam Sarabia, the elementary chief school officer for the Houston school district. A 5-year-old girl was injured in her knee, he said.

All three children were put on stretchers and taken in ambulances to be checked out at a hospital. The students were sitting up and appeared to be talking with emergency personnel as they were wheeled away.

Houston police spokesman Victor Senties said it is too early in the investigation to tell if any charges will be filed.

Upset parents rushed to the school in northeast Houston where yellow crime scene tape was strung and more than a dozen police and district patrol cars were parked.

Parents were allowed to take their children home for the day if they preferred to do so, and counselors were on hand as classes resumed for the afternoon, said district spokesman Norm Uhl.

"Although the danger is over, that doesn't make it any less frightening," Uhl said.

Most parents who were picking up their children after the shooting said that overall, Ross is a good school and there haven't been similar problems.

While some said it's not the fault of the school and the responsibility for what happened falls on the parents of the child who brought the gun to school, other parents said that the incident has made them think twice about safety and they wonder if additional security measures, including extra officers and even metal detectors, are needed.

"Being that this is an elementary school you would think that it would be safe, but now this makes you think nothing is safe," said Shawn Dixon, 33, whose 10-year-old daughter Tyra is third-grader at the school.

Dixon said he would be in favor of additional security measures such as metal detectors at the school.

Vonetta Moffett, 35, who has a 10 year old son and a 12-year-old son at the school, said even though she thinks the blame lies with the parents, she believes some kind of extra security is needed.

"The parents need to be more concerned about checking backpacks before their kids leave home. It's the parents' fault because the kids don't know better," said Moffett, a security officer at a medical building.

Uhl said that the kindergartner could face disciplinary action including being sent to an alternative school for up to 180 days. He said that no punishment has been decided yet.


Associated Press writers Diana Heidgerd and Jamie Stengle in Dallas contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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