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Authorities: 7-year-old took loaded gun to school

Posted January 26, 2010
Updated January 27, 2010

— Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office investigators detained a 7-year-old boy Tuesday after he allegedly took a loaded handgun to school and threatened students with it.

Authorities: Loaded handgun taken to Fayetteville school Handgun taken to Fayetteville school

The boy is a student at Elizabeth Cashwell Elementary School, on Legion Road in Fayetteville, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Tanna said.

Investigators said they believe he hid the gun in his book bag before leaving home Tuesday morning and managed to keep it hidden until after lunchtime.

"The juvenile, parents, school officials and other witnesses have been questioned and evidence has been processed," Tanna said Wednesday. "Because the suspect in this particular case is a juvenile, there is very little I can legally say about him and possible punishment for his alleged crime."

Authorities were called to the school at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, after the student allegedly threatened others.

“It is pretty serious and parents do have a reason to be concerned about the safety of their children in school. Fortunately, nothing happened,” Tanna said.

No one was injured but some parents were alarmed by the incident.

“It’s past scary,” parent James Green said. "It's real mind sickening for a 7-year-old to bring a loaded gun to school.”

Investigators are still not sure of the boy's intentions and the investigation continues.

“I can promise you that it's not done. We're not satisfied with what we put together so far. But we'll get to the bottom of it and we'll restore safety in that school,” Tanna said.

Investigators are trying to determine where the gun came from and who owns it. That person could possibly face charges. The case has been turned over to the Office of Juvenile Justice in Cumberland County.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jan 28, 2010

    Weetie, I don’t threaten people to get them to do things that I want them to do. Do you? Do you tell your loved ones that they need to do exactly what you say and bow in homage to you or you’ll torture them with fire?...for years on end?

    Like I said…it’s the church who teaches people that followers should obey, because if they don’t, they’ll be tortured. ...tortured for all eternity. Ugh.

    This is fear-based coercion. It removes the need for thinking. Not good, IMO. Really, not good.

    So, are these really the morals and values that you want to teach others?...to our children?

  • wildcat Jan 27, 2010

    The mother has been charged. There is a story ... check it out.

  • wildcat Jan 27, 2010

    WOW! So this young child thought he was the man. Where did he get the loaded gun? His parents certainly should be charged for the endangerment of their child and other school kids. This young child should be immediately removed from the home and place in a juvi camp where he can received some type of counseling. The parents should also have to receive couseling.

  • gov watchdog Jan 27, 2010

    BTW, I am SO happy that nobody was injured in this situation.

  • gov watchdog Jan 27, 2010

    If the assumption that the weapon belongs to a parent (or significant other of the parent) is correct then the responsibility for this is with that adult.

    If the child brought it to school thinking of playing (a kid with a toy gun makes 'threats' to the person he is pointing it at), showing it off, etc.. then the child is probably okay - but needs MUCH better supervision.

    If the child brought the weapon to school knowing it was real and was making real threats then that is pretty major.

    Unfortunately, this story is not yet complete and we don't know which of the above scenarios are correct.

    Of course, another scenario is that the boy stole the weapon from someone that did not reasonably expect that there would be a child in the vicinity of the weapon. Not sure, but I do not think it is against the law to have a loaded, unlocked weapon in a household that has no children.

  • yamiof1 Jan 27, 2010

    "cops should have took him out!"

    No, the cops should not have "TAKEN" him out.

    If it was your son, nephew, cousin would you exactly feel that way?

    Braveheart?? - you mean No Heart!!!

  • BraveHeart Jan 27, 2010

    cops should have took him out! wait until its older and graduates to assault weapons

  • Tom Morrow Jan 27, 2010

    "there are so many self righteous saints in the world today. I am sure that if some of these people closets are swept out, there would be many bones falling out."

    You can come to my house and look for yourself. I DO blame the parents. I blamed the parents for Columbine as well. Look, children, kids, "tweens", teens... they may be able to distinguish between right and wrong, but to expect them to actually make GOOD and WISE decisions is expecting too much. A parent IS responsible until the "child" is 18 years of age and out on their own. Period. Those Columbine kids were a product of poor parenting as well. And the sad part there is that some OTHER parents had to mourn the loss of their children because of someone else's lack of attention to their disturbed teen. Thank goodness this didn't happen here.

  • mrsmom Jan 27, 2010

    This type of situation scares me to death. There is no excuse for a 7 year old being able to get his hands on a loaded gun, much less take it to school. Whether or not he understood the gravity of his actions is something we will never know. When my children were that age, they would have known it was wrong, but they would not have had full comprehension of the damage that could have been done.

    I am thankful no one was hurt.

  • davidkresge1 Jan 27, 2010

    Despite what some might think--a seven year old has the ability to know right and wrong. I'd send him to juvi until he learns better.