ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — In big bold letters a “No Guns” sign hangs by the front doors at Lindbergh Elementary School in St. Joseph. Despite the signs clear message, a seven-year-old boy carrying a loaded handgun walked through the school’s doors on Tuesday morning.
“Having a weapon, having a firearm at school is a serious offense,” said St. Joseph School District Director of Student Services, Dr. Jake Long.
The incident shook both students and parents alike.
“My friend had told me there’s a cop here because somebody had brought a loaded gun. So I didn’t know what to think, I was kind of scared,” said 10-year-old Jade Stanford, a fourth grader at Lindbergh elementary school.
“It blew my mind. It blew my mind. Absolutely, I was scared,” said Jade’s mother Michole Stanford.
District officials say the boy made no threats.
“It was an incident of, you know, I’m going to bring this and show this to my friends,” Long said.
But the boy’s show-and-tell leaves parents questioning what’s going on at home.
“I think maybe it needs to be further investigated as far as parents go,” said another school parent, Laci Seiter.
Just a week removed from a school shooting in Colorado and a year removed from a mass killing at an elementary school in Connecticut, everyone agrees it’s a terrifying situation.
“It is scary. Especially in the wake of the events that are constantly, that are going on in our schools, especially recently. Long said.
In the aftermath, parents were relieved that a tragedy hadn’t taken place.
“Panic kind of. Just how close it was. Could have went different,” said Stanford.
School Principal Julie Gaddie said it’s a reminder of how critical the topics of school safety are.
“These are little people and they need all of our direction to make good decisions. They need both their parents helping them make those decisions at home and they need us at school working together to accomplish that,” said Gaddie.
On Tuesday night St. Joseph police were still investigating and say more information will be released Wednesday morning. Police also said the boy’s father was arrested on an unrelated outstanding warrant.