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Gun fired from inside five-year-old's backpack at Memphis school


A kindergarten pupil was quizzed by police after a gun went off in his backpack while queuing in a school cafeteria.

The child, thought to be aged five, was with other children waiting for the bell to ring to call them in for the start of lessons at Westside Elementary School in Shelby County, Memphis, Tennessee. No one was hurt and staff immediately seized the gun and backpack.

Police were trying to establish how the gun came to be in the backpack but in a statement the school authorities insisted there was no evidence there was any intention to hurt anyone.

It added: “Weapons of any kind are prohibited on campuses, and this student will be disciplined in accordance with the state's zero tolerance policy.” Punishment could include expulsion.

However, while some parents went to the school to check on their children's safety after the gunshot, the “ParentLink” system of notifying them of emergencies was not used, with the authorities maintaining the it was “an isolated and controlled situation that occurred before the school day started and did not involve any individual or school-wide threat”.