ST. LOUIS — Police are investigating after a second-grader brought a loaded gun to Pamoja Preparatory Academy in St. Louis. Second-grader Kylie Vardiman said she was playing with her friends when the unidentified student showed them the gun during recess Friday afternoon.
“I was shocked, and I just wished I had my phone so I could call my mom to tell her,” said Vardiman. “We were like, ‘We don’t want to see that!’ We told somebody to go tell the teacher.”
Investigators said a teacher managed to grab the gun and call the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. The pistol belonged to the child’s parents and is normally kept safe in a lockbox, according to a police report.
While no one was hurt, parents and students said the incident is concerning. Vardiman’s mother, Lakita Robinson, said the district sent an email explaining the situation to parents on Friday. She also has a kindergartner who attends the school.
“I read the email and I instantly called my daughter’s father, Just to make sure everything was okay,” said Robinson. “I was scared because there are too many school shootings going on, and especially with my kids being so young if anything would’ve gone down, it was just so scary for me.”
St. Louis Public Schools communications director George Sells released the following statement to FOX 2:
“The investigation is on-going. In the meantime, we are asking parents, guardians and caregivers to please check on any firearms in the home, secure them and store them out of reach of children. The safety and security of our children and staff are top priorities in our District and, it must always be our shared responsibility as a school community.”