Loaded handgun recovered in North Phila. school


For the second time in less than a week, Philadelphia police have recovered a loaded handgun at an elementary school.

On Monday, police were called to Gen. John F. Reynolds Elementary, on 24th Street near Jefferson in North Philadelphia, around 8:15 a.m. Officials said a first-grader brought a loaded hangun in his backpack and showed it to a number of students during breakfast. Some of the students immediately reported the gun to school police, who took the boy and his backpack to the principal's office.

Police responded and recovered a loaded .357 magnum. A preliminary investigation indicates that the boy pointed the weapon at another student, but it is unclear whether he intended to harm the student.

On Thursday, police recovered a loaded handgun at Daroff Charter School near 56th and Vine in West Philadelphia after a 7-year-old found the gun in his bag at the end of the day. The boy's stepfather, Tarron Wescott, 22, was charged today with child endangerment, reckless endangerment and receiving stolen property.

District spokesman Fernando Gallard said police are investigating how the Reynolds student got the gun. He said the boy is expected to face suspension followed up by district support.

"We are very grateful and very proud of the student that came forward and informed us of what they saw in the school," Gallard said.