Loaded handgun confiscated from an Alexandria elementary student’s backpack being investigated as an accident

A loaded gun that was confiscated from the backpack of an elementary school student last Friday is being investigated as an accident, according to police.

On Friday, a loaded handgun was discovered in the backpack of an unnamed student at Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.

“The gun was brought to school accidentally — the child grabbed the wrong backpack that
happened to contain a family member’s legally owned handgun,” the Alexandria Police Department said in a news release.

The student immediately informed their teacher they discovered a gun in their backpack, and the teacher immediately took possession of the backpack and informed the school administrators.

“The child did the right thing, not touching the gun and approaching a responsible adult
about it,” police said. “Claims that the child had threatened other students have been investigated and not corroborated.”

No other students are believed to have seen the weapon or been aware of its existence, and it was never removed from the backpack.

Guardians of Lyles-Crouch students were notified and received an email regarding the incident on Friday from the school’s principal, Laura Burkart, as well as a follow-up email on Saturday responding to questions and concerns.

“What I can assure you is that student and staff safety is our top priority, and that no person will be admitted into Lyles-Crouch if we believe they present a safety or security threat to our staff or students,” Burkart said in an email.

The incident remains under investigation, with Alexandria police adding that “if appropriate the responsible adult involved will be charged.”

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Jenna Romaine

Jenna joins WTOP after working as lead staff writer for Secret D.C. She has been a contributing writer for Billboard and has also worked for the Washington Examiner and The Hill where she reported for the Changing America section.

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