Van Buren Elementary was the scene this morning of what could have been a tragedy. Actually, the fact that an 11-year-old boy would have access to a loaded handgun and bring it to school is tragic in its own right.
According to Stockton Unified Police, the 11-year-old seventh-grader pulled the .22-caliber handgun from his backpack and was showing it off. He handed it to a 12-year-old boy, who mishandled it and accidentally fired one shot into the floor. The teacher, a woman who declined to be interviewed, quickly intervened. The boys were taken to Juvenile Hall.
Van Buren has scheduled a community meeting for 5:30 p.m. tomorrow to discuss the shooting.
“The tragedy is that there are so many guns, there’s so much gun violence in this city that for some of these kids there’s a sense of normalcy and guns are far too readily available to these kids,” Stockton Unified Police Chief Jim West said.