UPDATE: Loaded gun found at Richmond County elementary school

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News 12 @ 6 o'clock/ Wednesday, January 14, 2015
AUGUSTA, Ga (WRDW) -- Parents at one Augusta elementary school want answers on how a six year old boy had a loaded gun at school for at least three hours. Tuesday afternoon a lunchroom lady at Bayvale Elementary spotted the gun in the first grader's waistband at lunchtime. Parents tell News 12, they had no idea how serious the situation actually was.

Parents say their children were sent home with a letter Tuesday after school. The letter only mentions a weapon. They had no idea that weapon was a loaded 22 caliber pistol.

The last place Loria Culver thought she'd have to worry about her kids safety was at their elementary school. "It's very scary knowing that my kids are going to a school and might not be safe," Culver said.

She has a first grader and a fourth grader at Bayvale Elementary School. Tuesday they came home from school with a letter. "It said there was a weapon that was confiscated at exactly twelve o'clock," she said.

That weapon turned out to be a loaded 22 caliber pistol. School Safety Chief Alfonzo Williams says that gun was taken up immediately. "He believed it to be a toy pistol, he was just proud to have it, very innocent. He was very oblivious to the seriousness of the offense," Williams tells News 12.

Chief Williams said the gun belongs to the boy's parents, and it wasn't 'displayed or used offensively.' "There's no reason to believe he was being bullied or that he was going to use it for any ill intent," he said.

He said a cafeteria worker saw the gun tucked in the boy's pants around noon Tuesday. Culver said that's way too long for the loaded gun to go unnoticed. "My child is in the first grade and had lunch with this child. I could have been burying or other parents could have been burying our children," she said.

And Culver is also concerned about how they were notified. "A lot of kids, they don't give us letters. Especially because these are elementary kids," the mother said.

Moving forward she hopes the school, and the parents, keep a closer eye on safety. "That's out of line because multiple kids could have gotten killed," Culver said.

Richmond County Board of Education said they sent the letter instead of a phone call because it's standard protocol. They say the gun was pointed at anyone or thought to be a threat. They say a phone message would have disrupted the school day and upset a lot of parents.

Chief Williams tells News 12 any disciplinary action for the student will come through the school. He said officers talked with the parents and they are taking the matter seriously. He hopes this is a reminder to keep guns stored and to always keep an eye on your children.

Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015

AUGUSTA (WRDW) -- Richmond County school leaders say a 6-year old elementary school student brought a gun to class this week.

Public Safety Chief Alfonzo Williams confirms the gun was loaded and was taken to Bayvale Elementary Tuesday.

Williams says the child was carrying the gun in his waistband.

He says a cafeteria worker noticed the weapon and alerted staff. When questioned, Williams says the child said he got the gun from a parent.

News 12's Lindsay Tuman is working to find out what punishment the child is facing and if the parent will face any charges. She'll have those details tonight on News 12 First at Five.

Stay tuned to wrdw.com for any more developments in this case.