Duval County Public Schools is urging gun owners to keep weapons away from children after a 12-year-old reportedly carried a handgun in his backpack.
The 12-year-old student from Timucuan Elementary reportedly found the gun at his home and carried it around for two days, the district said citing a Feb. 14 police report.
Action News Jax spoke with the mother who made the call to police.
Yolonda Cooper says her third-grade daughter was walking home with the 12-year old boy and some other friends when he pulled out a pistol.
She says he told her daughter not to tell anyone.
“My daughter is now afraid to go back and forth to school to walk,” said Cooper. “I have to pick her up, drop her off.”
According to a police report, the boy thought there was a strange man watching him walk to and from school, the district said.
He told investigators he wanted “protection to keep from getting kidnapped.”
The school was notified Tuesday and alerted parents. District officials are now urging gun owners to keep their weapons away from children.
In this case, the boy told investigators he found the gun in a nightstand drawer.
According to the report, the gun’s owner said he’d lost the key to the gun case, and hadn’t gotten another case yet.
No one answered when we went to the boy’s home.
“I just feel like some actions definitely need to be taken towards the parent,” said Cooper.
"The parent who contacted the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office should be commended, but we need gun owners to do everything possible to keep firearms away from children," Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene said in a statement.
The district said it is unclear if the student brought the gun all the way to school or hid it before coming onto campus.
The Duval County Public School Police Department is now investigating.
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