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Loaded gun found in student's backpack at Somerset Academy Lakes

Posted at 10:58 AM, Mar 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-09 04:26:25-05

A loaded gun was found after it fell out of the backpack of a six-year-old student at Somerset Academy Lakes Elementary in suburban West Palm Beach, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

“She said the boy brought the gun to school and it was in his backpack and it fell out," said Lisa Marie, whose daughter was in the kindergarten class where the incident happened. "They didn’t get hurt.”

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The principal initially said that a teacher found the gun in the backpack of the early childhood student before classes began. But the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office later said the gun fell out when the child entered his classroom and tossed down the backpack.

"To know that that could’ve potentially hit her or another classmate that we do know, I just don’t understand," Marie said.

The school said the child did not intend to bring the weapon to campus and didn't know it was in the backpack.

“I was in shock of course," said Patricia Causillas, whose daughter attends second grade at the school.

When the weapon was found the classroom was secured, students were removed and no one was ever in danger, the school said.

"Because of the Parkland incident, everyone is on heightened alert, so everyone acted quickly," said Lynn Norman-Teck, of Florida Charter School Alliance.

"I know and understand that the school did the right thing," Causillas said.

The sheriff's office believes no students were ever in danger and detectives are still investigating how the weapon ended up in the child's backpack.

“Neither of my kids are safe going here so I just unenrolled them," Marie said.

The tuition-free public charter school is located at 2845 Summit Blvd and serves kindergarten through 5th-grade students. A middle school is also in the same building.