Six-Year-Old Brings Loaded Pistol to Elementary School

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AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, James Nielsen

Evette Davis hugs her daughter Heaven, 5, and son Julian, 9, after a shooting at Ross Elementary school Tuesday, April 19, 2011, in Houston.

About 25 kindergartners were eating lunch at Ross Elementary School in Houston, Texas Tuesday when a shot rang out. One student, five-year-old Jarneshia Broussard, told the Houston Chronicle, she knew it was a gun because it went “pow.”

She was right; it was a gun. A loaded pistol had dropped from a six-year-old male student’s pants pocket and discharged. The student carrying the gun and two others were slightly injured by what was thought to be a single bullet.

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While investigators try to determine how the boy obtained the weapon, news of the incident has raised alarm today as the U.S. marks the 12th anniversary of the mass school shooting at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999.

A forthcoming poll to be released this summer by PAX/The Center to Prevent Youth Violence shows schools may have not come as far as they should have in the last 12 years toward preventing gun violence. Of the 817 students ages 13-to-18 surveyed in the group’s online poll, 45% said they knew someone who had brought a weapon to school. Of those, eight percent said they knew someone who had brought a gun.

For their part, the injured students were in stable condition by Tuesday afternoon, and according to the Chronicle, were smiling and playing video games in the hospital.