Local News

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

Posted January 26, 2010 4:43 p.m. EST
Updated January 27, 2010 10:08 a.m. EST

— 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.

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.