Gun found in 7-year-old's bookbag at W. Philly school
A 7-year-old student at a West Philadelphia charter school was packing more than books and notepads in his bookbag Thursday: he also had a loaded Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver.
But police said the little boy didn’t know he had the gun when he went to Samuel Daroff Elementary School at 56th and Vine streets this morning. He discovered the weapon at about 4 p.m. only after he was putting his jacket in his backpack on his way to an afterschool program.
He immediately told his teacher, who told a supervisor and police were immediately notified, Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives said.
“It actually ended perfectly. The student did the right thing. The teacher did the right thing. The school did the right thing,” Walker said. “Now, we are going to figure out who did the wrong thing.”
Detectives were still trying to figure out how the gun ended up in the boy’s bookbag this evening. The revolver was rusted shut, Walker said, but loaded with five bullets. Police aren't sure if it could be discharged, but the police department's Bomb Squad was able to determine that it could be removed safely from the school, Walker said.
The gun spent the entire day in the second-grader's backpack hanging next to his cubbie in the classroom, Walker said.
"When he goes to put his jacket in his bag, he feels the gun," he said. "We're very fortunate that this gun was handled the way it was."
The Daroff school is one of Philadelphia music mogul Kenny Gamble's Universal Companies' charter schools in the city. The school at 5630 Vine Street has grades kindergarten through eighth. It's slogan is "An oasis in the desert."
Contact Brian X. McCrone at 215-854-2267 or email@example.com. Follow @brianxmccrone on Twitter.