Elementary school student brings gun to school, officials say

Officials confiscate weapon, arrest student

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor, James Sparvero - Reporter

PALM BAY, Fla. - A Port Malabar Elementary School student brought an unloaded gun on campus Tuesday morning, according to a letter sent to parents.

The sixth grade student brought a 9mm Glock to school in his backpack to show his classmates, the Palm Bay Police Department said. One of those students notified teachers.

The 12-year-old boy had no ammunition and had no intention of hurting anyone, the news release said.

"It just seems to be a mistake in his judgment, of a 12-year-old's judgment," Palm Bay Police Lt. Mike Bandish said. 

Principal Cindy Whalin said the gun was confiscated and the Palm Bay Police Department was called to the scene to conduct an investigation.

"He was showing his friends. One of his friends immediately told the teachers. The teachers called us right away. He had no bad intent to hurt anybody or do anything with the gun. He just wanted to show his friends the gun," Bandish said.

A letter was sent to parents informing them of the incident Tuesday morning.

"I want to reassure you that your student's safety is always our top priority and school administration will continue to follow our security policies to resolve such incidents," Whalin wrote in the letter. "We also want to thank our students for proactively reporting the incident to administration and our parents for instilling the value of honest communication."

No students were threatened or in danger during the incident. The boy was arrested at 9 a.m. on a charge of possession of a firearm on school campus.

A man living in the same neighborhood as the school said he blames the boy's parents.

"It is the parents' responsibility to always check their bags before they leave," Marc Roman said. "That was something that I was raised on with my mom when I was young. She would always ... check my bag before I leave."

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