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Utah Sixth-Grader Given Gun by Family After Newtown Massacre

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By Christine Thomasos, Christian Post Reporter
December 19, 2012|10:57 am

A Kearns, Utah sixth grade student was reportedly given a gun by a family member to take to school amid fears stemming from the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn.

The 11-year-old West Kearns Elementary School student was taken into police custody on Monday after reportedly pointing the .22-caliber handgun at a classmate during recess. Although police in the area have heard witness accounts about the unnamed student pointing his gun at one of his peers and making threats, Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley told NBC News that details were still being confirmed since the witnesses are children with different reports.

Still, Horsley told the publication that the boy was charged with one count of possession of a dangerous weapon on school property and three charges of aggravated assault, which would be a third-degree felony if he waived the weapon at other students. While the gun was unloaded, NBC reports state that the boy did carry ammunition with him but that it was unclear whether he had the proper bullets needed to load the gun.

The 11-year-old boy was allegedly given the weapon by an extended family member who feared that he would encounter a shooting similar to the one that took place in Connecticut last week. According to Horsley, the boy's parents are cooperating in the investigation of the incident while the extended family member has since left their home.

However, Horsley said the boy will never be allowed to set foot in a traditional school setting despite the fact that nobody was injured.

"We have a variety of alternative placements for kids who violate school safety policies," Horsley told NBC News. "Obviously that's not the correct approach. We teach these kids on a regular basis that they have a responsibility to keep their school safe."

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Still, some parents were not satisfied with the way West Kearns Elementary School handled the incident that could have potentially put their children in danger. John Klaus, a father of a student attending the school, told Fox News that he was unhappy with the fact that nothing was done.

"There was no lockdown. No one was called," Klaus told the network. "Nothing was done. And then we had to hear it from our kids."

Various people took to Twitter to also sound off on the incident that could have potentially turned into another killing at an elementary school.

"Parents, please be more responsible with your guns if you must have them," one person tweeted.

While another person called the situation, "disturbing," others thought that the news of the sixth grade boy carrying a gun in school was not shocking.

"Not surprising in the USA -- 6th-grader in Utah brings gun to school to avoid Connecticut-style attack," the person tweeted.

 

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