A 2nd-grade Henrico student pulled out a loaded gun on the way to school and used it to threaten a classmate on their school bus, according to officials.
The child who was threatened and his brother reported the incident to a teacher once they arrived at Ratcliffe Elementary School around 8:40 a.m. Police were called to the school to investigate. They found the gun in the student's backpack when he reached campus.
"You really just don't know what to expect until it really hit home," says Andrew Alexander, a grandparent.
Initially, police reported the gun was not used in a threatening manner. However, they revealed the incident on the school bus later Monday. The student was released to a guardian and the school day proceeded as normal. A significant number of parents arrived at the school to take their children home, according to school officials.
"When does this stop? At an elementary school?" said Kenyata Jones as she took her son home for the day. "I was running late to work, I got to work I was like, 'Oh God! I can't go to work! I have to go check on my child!' Instantly it was anxiety."
Jones says she received an email and phone call from the principal saying the situation was under control. She says this is a lesson for parents.
"It's like what are the parents doing? Are you not going in bookbags? Do you not talk to your children?" she said.
Two Henrico County police officers were parked outside most of the day. But the school was never under lockdown. School administrators say that option is only exercised if they are unsure of what will happen.
"In this case our administrators and our police officers were quite confident that the situation was contained, it was over with," says Andy Jenks, HCPS director of communications.
Parents tell NBC12 teachers did not talk about it in class with their students.
Police haven't said whether the child will face charges and school officials declined to detail any disciplinary action. The gun involved was described only as a handgun by school officials.
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