In the wake of Tuesday's horrific mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, local law enforcement has been on high alert looking out for copycat attempts. And in one disturbing incident that happened the same day as the Texas shooting, a young child in Sacramento brought a gun and ammo to school.
On Tuesday, as the Sacramento Bee reported, coincidentally the same day as the shooting in Uvalde, Texas that claimed 21 lives, a second-grade student in the Sacramento City Unified School District allegedly brought a gun and a loaded magazine to school and put it in his desk. Another student reportedly tipped off school staff, and staff called in police to secure the weapon. The gun and ammunition were found in the desk at Edward Kemble Elementary School.
The make or type of weapon found was not disclosed to the public.
In a note to parents of children in the school that was obtained by the Associated Press, a school district official said, "“We are grateful that this incident did not result in a tragedy such as those that districts have experienced, including today’s tragic and senseless mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. This is due in large part to the bravery and awareness of the students who came forward and alerted staff at Kemble today.”
The district said this incident was an example of the success of the school's "If you see something, say something" mantra that is taught to students.
"It’s pretty scary to know that kids are so able to get ahold of firearms and just bring them so willingly to school," said Kemble Elementary parent Michelle Miller, speaking to KCRA.
Royal Jones, another parent of three children at the school, told KCRA that he's keeping his kids out of school until changes are made to the school's safety protocols.
"I don’t think there will be any solution to stop a tragedy from happening, but I do think heavier police presence would give, to some degree, children a chance," Jones said.
That Tuesday incident was followed by an arrest of a teenager in the East Bay on Wednesday for making threats against a school employee. As KTVU reports, a 17-year-old student at American High School in Fremont was arrested for making an online threat against an employee at the school — it's not clear if it was a teacher.
According to a news released from the Fremont Police Department, the boy was arrested on suspicion of making felony terrorist threats and a hate crime — the latter because the threats reportedly included racial epithets.
As Bay Area News Group reports, school officials quickly identified the student Wednesday morning after seeing the online threat, and met with the boy and his parents at an off-campus location.
The student had reportedly made threats of gun violence, but after police searched the boy's home, they said they found no gun.
Police said also that after the boy was in custody, he made additional threats about "committing additional gun violence at an unnamed school."
Fremont police Chief Sean Washington put out a statement Wednesday about the Texas shooting, prior to learning of the American High School incident, saying, "Our Department will continue to do all we can, with the resources we have available to protect our community from these horrible acts of violence."
Washington added, "I am confident in the ability of our police officers to effectively respond to these situations." Washington also said that the department had, to date, "not identified any known threats to our community."
As Bay Area News Group reports, shortly after issuing that statement and hearing about the 17-year-old's threat, Washington put out a second statement saying, "Considering recent events, I want to ensure the public that school safety is our top priority. I have directed additional patrol checks towards all school campuses, including resources from specialized units.”
Photo courtesy of Edward Kemble Elementary School