HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – A second grader in his onesie pajamas was in his grandfather’s care Monday night at their East End home, seemingly oblivious to the trouble he was in.
The child is accused of bringing a loaded gun to Ratcliffe Elementary School in Henrico Monday morning.
The young boy told me off-camera that he didn’t threaten anyone. However school officials said the student did threaten several classmates while on the bus. The school principal contacted students who were threatened by the second grader.
Shortly after the seven-year-old student arrived at school Monday, his grandfather, who asked me to hide his identity, says he got a phone call.
“The school called and asked me to come get him and I said, ‘Nah, I can’t drive today,’” said the grandfather.
He had suffered a stroke in July and cannot drive.
A Henrico Schools spokesman says the boy brought a loaded handgun to school and pulled it out on the bus. But the spokesman says students didn’t say anything to anyone about the gun. It wasn’t until the second grader got to his classroom when the weapon was discovered.
“The student came into school and started unpacking,” Henrico schools spokesman Andy Jenks said. “Students saw it and reported it, and then they took him to the principal’s office.”
When I asked the grandfather whose gun it was, he acknowledged it was his. The grandfather is baffled that the young boy found it.
“I didn’t think he knew where the gun was at,” he said.
Parents who rushed to Ratcliffe after getting an automated phone message from the school said they were relieved no one was injured. Many said their hearts raced with raw emotion after learning the gun was loaded and that a young boy was a trigger-pull away from tragedy.
“Just plain fear,” parent Tiffany Sims said. “It’s an elementary school, you know. I tell my daughter if she sees something that’s not right to immediately tell.”
Police say no charges have been filed yet.
The grandfather tells me his grandson has been suspended