A gun found inside a kindergartner's backpack at a west Birmingham school ended up there as an "honest mistake," according to police.
A 6-year-old girl at Central Park Elementary School discovered the small caliber weapon inside her backpack when she was getting a snack out of her bag on Monday around lunch time.
The gun was loaded and did not have a lock, but no one was hurt in the incident. Police are applauding the young girl for doing the responsible thing.
She immediately told a friend, who then told the teacher. School officials notified the police and called the little girl's mother and aunt. Officers responded to the school around 11 a.m. Monday.
"The great thing is no one was hurt, the child did an amazing thing by immediately telling someone, specifically an adult who was able to retrieve the firearm," Lt. Sean Edwards with BPD said.
Police learned that on Sunday night, the girl's mother was involved in a car wreck that totaled her car. She called the girl's aunt to get a ride home since the car was undriveable. The mother transferred all of her belongings to the aunt's car, and the aunt placed the gun in the little girl's backpack, Lt. Edwards said.
Officers said the mother knew the gun was placed in the backpack, but didn't think to get it out when they got home.
The mom said she normally packs her daughter's lunch and snack, but on Monday, her daughter packed her own snack, not realizing the gun was inside.
Lt. Edwards says it appears it was an "honest mistake" and there will not be any charges filed in the case.
"The mom was very cooperative. The sister was cooperative. We truly believe that was an honest, honest mistake based on what we've investigated and found out," Lt. Edwards said.
The school system said once the gun was discovered, they placed Central Elementary on lockdown and school administrative staff arrived at the campus within minutes. The school system is still investigating the details of the case.
DHR is also conducting their own investigation. Until it is complete, the little girl has been placed in the care of another family member.
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