LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) – Lauderhill Police said a 9-year-old student was taken into custody Tuesday morning after he brought a loaded weapon to school and threatened 3 students with it.
Police units responded to Lauderhill Paul Turner Elementary School located in the 1500 block of Northwest 49th Avenue, at 10:23 a.m. following reports of a juvenile with a handgun.
Police said the student brought a loaded .380 caliber Ruger handgun and aimed it at three classmates while in a classroom in front of a teacher. Investigators say the boy said, “You see this, this is a real gun,” while making other threatening comments regarding being bullied by the victims.
One parent, who asked not to reveal her name, said the boy showed her daughter the gun prior to the incident.
“I just heard that my daughter witness a little boy with a gun he brought to the school and opened it up and showed her the bullets,” she said.
The woman said her daughter did the right thing and informed the teacher.
“She was very honest and she ran to the teacher and told her what the teacher showed her,” the mother said.
Police say the teacher quickly called the Vice Principal who notified the School Resource Officer, who was able to get to the classroom in less than 5 minutes, grab the gun and defuse the situation.
No one was injured.
“The school and all the staff did a great job,” said Lauderhill Police Sgt. Adrian Santana. “The time it took to notify the School Resource Officer, his response time, his action and his ability to render the school safe within minutes of the incident coming out speak to the training we have been providing.”
In a robocall to parents, the school’s principal addressed a bit of what happened.
“I commend the student who came forward with the information today. By speaking out, we were able to respond swiftly, enact all proper protocols, and ensure students and staff remained safe. The safety and security of our students and staff are always our highest priorities, and we encourage all students, parents, employees and community members – if you see something, say something,” the principal said in the call.
Oseer Williams, whose son is in 2nd grade at the school, says he rushed to the campus after hearing the robocall to demand answer. He says he received few. He thinks the school needed to be more forthcoming, more quickly, with parents.
“We had no clue what happened,” Williams said. “I kind of feel the school should have been locked down, the kids should have been released, the parents should have been notified. There should have been some sort of written memo.”
There remain many unanswered questions — like how the student got the loaded gun and whether a code red should have been called. Sgt. Santana said the situation was handled so quickly that a code red was not necessary.
CBS4 News asked the Broward School District about the victim students and if they’re receiving counseling. They said the only statement they could provide is that school staff and law enforcement acted swiftly to ensure the safety of everyone on campus.
The student who was arrested was taken to the Broward County Juvenile Assessment Center and the child already had a court hearing Tuesday afternoon. Police say parents of the juvenile denied the student had a history of mental illness. They also said the juvenile’s actions were solely intended for the three victims and not for anyone else at the school.
For the mother of the girl who spoke up, she is grateful to be able to hug her child tonight. She urges all parents to remind their kids that if they see something suspicious at school or anywhere that they should say something about it.
“What if the boy was angry and shot my daughter or just pulled the trigger,” she said. “I just thank God my child was safe and he was safe too.”