Child mistakenly thought firearm was a pellet gun
By Gayle E. BlairGatehouse Media Ohio
ALLIANCE, Ohio — A misguided attempt at show and tell resulted in Alliance police responding to a report of a gun found on a city school bus early Friday.
An all-call message from Alliance Early Learning School principal Tim Calfee went out to parents at approximately 2:45 p.m. Friday.
The recording stated, in part: “This morning, on Bus 5, one of the kindergarten students brought a gun onto the bus in their backpack. At the time, there was only one other student on the bus and the gun was shown to that student. That student reported it to the bus driver, who immediately stopped the bus and safely took the backpack and kept it in her possession.”
The Alliance Police Department was notified immediately, according to Alliance City Schools superintendent Jeffery Talbert. Parents of children at the Early Learning School were called personally by Calfee and staff starting at 11 a.m., said Talbert. The afternoon all-call went out to all parents in the district, he said.
“The school resource officer and I went to where the 5-year-old lives with his grandma,” said shift commander Lt. Bill Morris. “We also notified child protective services and are referring charges (endangering children) to the prosecutor.”
Morris stressed there was no malice intended on the part of the child.
“He thought it was a pellet gun and was going to tell his friends,” said Morris. “He displayed it; his friend told the bus driver, who immediately pulled the bus over.”
She secured it until the bus got to school, where police recovered it.
“At no time was the gun inside the school,” Morris said. “There was zero intent for him to brandish or threaten anyone; he just wanted to show it to his friends.”
Morris noted the gun was a loaded 32-caliber revolver. He said the grandmother was very cooperative and told him the gun was for her own self-defense.
“She was a victim of a home burglary a few years ago,” said Morris, who added there are no other children living in the house. The boy had just recently moved to that residence house.
As for the boy, Morris said he was “shaken up.” Morris went over gun safety with the boy and what to do if a gun is found — “tell a grown-up.”
Gayle E. Blair is a reporter for The Alliance (Ohio) Review.
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