A 4-year-old was caught showing off a fully loaded Smith & Wesson pistol to his pre-kindergarten classmates on Thursday, according to police in Mount Gilead Police, North Carolina.
The pistol was found after a teacher at Mt. Gilead Elementary School grew suspicious of the student “showing other students an item in a book bag during class,” according to a police press release.
“The teacher went to examine what was in the book bag and observed what appeared to be a firearm,” said a release. “When officers arrived, they confirmed the suspected weapon was a 9 millimeter Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun, containing a fully loaded magazine.”
The boy was “suspended for the remainder of the year” and his mother, 38-year-old Sadira Hitchcock, “faces a misdemeanor charge of of failure to secure a firearm from a minor,” reported Fox 8.
Mount Gilead Police Chief Pat Preslar told Fox 8 the boy did not give a clear explanation for why he brought the gun to class.
Mount Gilead is about 55 miles east of Charlotte. The elementary school has 324 students and serves prekindergarten through fifth grade, according to PublicSchoolReview.com.
The Montgomery County Schools released a statement Thursday acknowledging the incident and assured parents “there was no direct threat to the safety of any students.“
“An alert staff member saw the weapon in the open book bag, immediately took possession of it, and turned it in to the office,” said the statement. “Our thanks go out to the staff member who confiscated the weapon and to our local law enforcement officers for their quick response.”