Passing notes between backpacks can get you detention, but what police say two students were caught passing at Natomas Middle School Wednesday could have triggered something much worse.
One mom heard the scary story from her daughter.
“She said there was a young man with a gun and that he was telling other students that he was going to hurt someone,” said middle school mom Yvette Patterson.
“What we know about the firearm is that it was a handgun and that it was a semi-automatic.” said Officer Doug Morse with the Sacramento police department.
Police also know that the suspicious item school staff spotted and then reported wasn’t loaded and no ammunition was on campus.
In its only response to the incident, a statement from district leaders reads- “at no time was any student or staff member in danger.”
But that was of little consolation to Patterson’s child — who didn’t want to come back to school.
“We believe in God so I told her that the angels of God were protecting her and that the school was taking every precaution and everything,” said Patterson.
Precautions yes, but perhaps not notification.
Patterson says the only word she’s gotten about the incident came from her daughter.
“I’m surprised they didn’t inform us,” said Benjamin Hulett.
Unfortunately, Hulett says he’s not surprised that the incident happened in the first place.
“I suspect that there’s guns in every school where there’re fourth graders and up … It does disappoint me,” he said.
Police say the gun came from an unsecured spot in the student’s home.
“We’re very fortunate that no one was injured as a result of that, so right now there are no charges pending on the gun owner,” said Morse.
Even though California is one of eight states with criminal liability for unlawful storage, you may have a false sense of security even if your gun is properly stowed.
Thirty-nine percent of kids surveyed in one study by the Injury Control Research Center at Harvard University said they knew the location of their parents’ gun.
Twenty-two percent of the kids hand handled that weapon, though their parents reported otherwise.
It’s estimated that nearly two million children live in homes with an unlocked and loaded gun.