A 9-year-old Manassas, Va., boy was arrested and charged with possessing a firearm on school property after taking a handgun to school Thursday.
The boy showed the gun to several other students at Ellis Elementary School, said Prince William County Police. Another student reported the gun to a teacher, who alerted the school's administration. The administration then confiscated the gun and called police.
The boy told police he was being bullied, but he did not threaten anyone with the weapon, police spokesperson Kim Chinn said.
While acknowledging the boy made a bad decision, his grandmother told Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey he took the gun out of fear.
"I believe my grandson, he acted out of fear," she said. "The little boy had been kicking him, hitting him, pushing him, taking his book bag. After he ignored him for moments, the little boy told him that he was gong to kill him, so I'm thinking that he acted out of fear and he was very afraid."
Authorities released the boy to a family member.
The boy took the gun to school in a carrying case, authorities said. The gun was disassembled and could not have been fired.
"In today's situation, students were never in immediate danger," Principal Caroline Goddard wrote in a letter home to parents. "Continued safety was assured because a student did the right thing by reporting the matter to an adult."
An adult relative also was arrested in the case for not properly securing the handgun, authorities said. He was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.