HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A Holyoke man is facing charges after police say his grandson allegedly brought a loaded firearm to school on Friday.
According to Holyoke Police Lt. Jim Albert, officials at the E.N. White Elementary School contacted officers around 3:00 p.m. saying that a 5-year-old half-day PreK student had come to school with a loaded gun inside his backpack.
Authorities arrived and found that the boy was in the possession of a Ruger SR22 .22 Caliber semi-automatic handgun, which was loaded with a magazine that contained ten live rounds.
Lt. Albert stated that they believe the child did not at any point remove the gun from his backpack.
Thankfully, no injuries were reported.
After detectives and the School Resource Sergeant spoke with the boy's mother, it was determined that the child had obtained the gun at his grandfather's house when he was visiting there with his mother earlier that day.
The grandfather, who is only being identified as a 52-year-old male, was immediately contacted and is cooperating fully with investigators.
Lt. Albert says that the grandfather does have a current Massachusetts License to Carry.
An additional handgun and ammunition, as well as the man's License to Carry, were seized after officials visited the grandfather's residence.
Authorities are expected to file the following charges against the grandfather:
- Reckless endangerment of a child
- Improper storage of a firearm
Due to the boy's age, officials are not allowed to divulge his personal information.
Holyoke Police have contacted the Mass. State Department of Children and Families, who have opened their own investigation into the alleged incident.
Lt. Albert adds that the boy had arrived at school at 11:30 a.m. and school officials had discovered that the boy was in the possession of the firearm around 3:00 p.m.
Holyoke Public Schools sent out a letter to all the E.N. White families later that day, notifying them of the situation and reads in part:
Dear E.N. White School Families,
We want to make you aware of an incident that occurred at our school today at dismissal. A half-day pre-K student informed his sibling that he had brought a family member's gun to school. The sibling immediately shared this information with a staff member.
Upon examining the backpack, the gun was found, and staff immediately contacted the Holyoke Police. The child did not take the weapon out of the backpack at any time during the school day and did not threaten anyone at school.
Although our students were not aware that this situation occurred, it was important to us to notify families of our actions at the E.N. White School. We are grateful for the prompt attention of the E.N. White staff and the quick response from our partners in the Holyoke Police Department.
If you have any further questions, concerns, or would like to meet please contact us.
Principal Jacqueline Glasheen
E.N. White School
Stephen Zrike, Superintendent
Holyoke Public Schools
This incident remains under investigation by the Holyoke Police Department.