Pennsylvania Mom Charged After 6-Year-Old Son Brings Gun To School

At least three elementary school students have brought weapons to campus this year, including the six-year-old who allegedly shot his teacher in Newport News, Virginia, last month. This week, a woman in Pennsylvania and a man in North Carolina were charged after a six-year-old, in each case, brought a gun to school.

Prosecutors say a 6-year-old boy carried a gun to Joseph K. Gotwals Elementary School in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on February 9. His mother was detained.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office announced in a news release that 30-year-old Jasmin Devlin turned herself in on Tuesday and was arraigned on charges of felony endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment for failing to secure a firearm in her house. Devlin may or may not have an attorney at this time.

Students who rode the bus with the 6-year-old that morning reported to the school secretary that he had shown them the rifle and bullets. The secretary then contacted the police.

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“The school’s secretary immediately brought the boy into the office, looked in his backpack and saw the firearm. She then called Norristown Police,” the release said.

Police believe the boy found the weapon – a 9 mm Jimenez Arms semi-automatic handgun – in a dresser in his mother’s room the night before bringing it to school, prosecutors said. The news release said his 10-year-old brother took the bullets out of the gun and pointed it at his brother, pretending to shoot him. The 6-year-old told detectives he returned to his mother’s room in the middle of the night, put the firearm in his backpack, and took it to school, according to the release.

“I would like to commend the children who notified school officials immediately, thus preventing another tragedy at a school,” Norristown Acting Police Chief Michael Bishop said in the news release. “These children are the true heroes in this unfortunate incident. Their notification to school officials resulted in an immediate response by Norristown Police, ensuring the safety of everyone at the school.”

The district attorney’s office stated that Devlin got the pistol on March 4, 2022, through a straw buy arranged by a man from Norristown. The term “straw purchase” refers to a firearm for someone who does not meet the legal requirements to do so.

Pennsylvania Mom Charged After 6-Year-Old Son Brings Gun To School

In addition to the $50,000 bond, Devlin is prohibited from having any contact with minors. On February 24, there will be a preliminary hearing for the case.

According to a press release from the Rocky Mount Police Department, on Tuesday, an unloaded 9 mm handgun was found in the backpack of a 6-year-old student at Fairview Elementary in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The student’s father, Marvin Ray Davis, 58, was charged with a misdemeanor count of improper firearm storage to protect a minor.

According to the release, after receiving word from school officials that one of the students had a pistol, the school’s resource officer searched the student’s backpack.

“The backpack was secured by staff on campus, and the child was removed from the classroom. There were no threats made with the weapon, and the child never displayed it,” police said.

The department spokeswoman informed CNN that Davis is not connected to the child but did share housing with them. According to the release, he was given a $4,000 bond and must appear in Rocky Mount Court on March 1.

CNN has tried multiple times to reach Davis, but it is unclear if counsel represents him. CNN has also contacted Nash County Public Schools for comment.

“The situation … should be a reminder to all gun owners to secure their weapons in a safe manner so that minors cannot possess them,” Rocky Mount Police Chief Robert Hassell said. “This was a preventable situation,” he added.

Since on January 6, a 6-year-old was reported to have shot his first-grade teacher in Virginia; the cases have taken on a new urgency. The educator was shot in the chest but is healing, and the school has reopened with increased security measures like metal detectors.

In Pennsylvania, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele called the incident “a frightening reminder that children can and do find unsecured firearms in a home, and they play with them. Thankfully, these young boys were not shot or injured in their home, and no one was shot or injured at school thanks to the quick action by school personnel.”

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