Kids return to school following accidental shooting

April 20, 2011 3:13:40 PM PDT
A day after three Ross Elementary school students were wounded in an accidental shooting on campus, police and parents are still searching for answers, wondering how a six-year-old boy got his hands on a gun. The boy who had the weapon is among those wounded, but he and the other two victims are expected to be OK.

Wednesday morning's student drop-off at Ross Elementary was quiet and uneventful, in stark contrast to yesterday's pickup. Parents concerned, some crying, after three small children were injured and sent to the hospital when a student brought a gun to school and it went off in the cafeteria.

Today, there were some nerves.

"It happened with the classmates that's in her class, so she's a little shaken up and didn't want to come back to school today," said parent Monique Gatewood. "I talked her into coming back."

The parents we talked to were worried that it was already lunchtime and nobody knew that that boy had a gun on campus. Some would like to see backpack searches, while others told us they already do that at home.

"They're leaving from home, so the parents need to check the backpacks, and the schools need to check the backpacks now, too," said concerned grandparent Theresa Green.

"Metal detectors, checking backpacks, something to give more security, so that we feel the kids are more safe," said parent Marcelio Julian.

"It was an isolated incident and I'm not sure whether they should have been checking for weapons or not," said parent Thurman Bogges.

HISD says it is not feasible to implement student searches in a district of more than 200,000 students, and that this was a rare occurrence. Parents hope it stays that way.

"We heard it was very good school, so I just hope they make more secure efforts to make sure the kids are safe," said Julian.

HISD says it did an automated phone call to all Ross Elementary School parents last night and will send a letter home today.

Houston police are trying to find out where the boy got the gun. No punishment has been decided yet. He could face a year expulsion and end up in an alternative school.

HPD released a statement saying essentially that the investigation is still ongoing, that they are still interviewing witnesses and family members and working with both Child Protective Services and the school district.

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