TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Investigators were shocked to find the “very frightening chain of events” behind the discovery of a loaded handgun inside a Florida first-graders backpack on Wednesday.
Authorities say a first-grade teacher at Meadowbrook Elementary School in Alachua County discovered the firearm inside his student’s backpack around 1 p.m.
A school resource deputy immediately responded and confirmed the item found inside the bag was in fact a loaded handgun.
The deputy’s “very thorough and now complete investigation revealed the following set of accidental, yet very frightening chain of events that led to this incident,” the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post.
Authorities described the first-grader as a student who had not brought any type of backpack to school in months.
After the teacher asked the student’s parent to ensure their child brought a backpack to school, the mother instructed her child to pick a bag out of the trunk of her vehicle and use it for school.
Deputies said the handgun, which had typically been stored in the vehicle’s glove compartment, was placed in the bag by another family member who did not notify the mother of the gun’s whereabouts.
Unbeknownst to the mother, the child carried the backpack to school without any knowledge that the handgun was inside.
Based on the investigation, no criminal charges were filed.
“While this situation appears to be a terrible accident, we want to impress upon our community the desperate need for safe and responsible gun ownership, as this incident could have had a far worse outcome,” the sheriff’s office said.