Charges Filed After 7-Year-Old Brings Gun to Class

Man who owned gun was staying with boy's family, officials said

By Charlie Wojciechowski
|  Friday, Dec 13, 2013  |  Updated 3:58 AM EDT
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Gifford Elementary placed on a soft lockdown during incident. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

Gifford Elementary placed on a soft lockdown during incident. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

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Charges were filed against the man prosecutors said owned a loaded gun that a 7-year-old boy brought to a suburban Chicago school.

Rashaad Byrd of Romeoville was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon and child endangerment.

Authorities said the 27-year-old was staying with the boy's family and that the second grader found the gun and brought it to his Elgin school Thursday.

It was a phone call from the school that brought Erica Singletary back to the Gifford Elementary school Thursday to pick up her son early.

"I got a call today and they were saying that a kid brought a gun to school," she said. "They got it and called police and everything is ok. But I want to check if my child is ok."

According to school officials, it was another student who noticed a gun in a backpack and alerted the teacher who brought the backpack and the student to the office. Police recovered a loaded 9mm from the backpack and detained the 7-year-old boy who brought it to school.

"It's unfortunate in this day and age that kids can get their hands on a weapon of this nature," said John Heiderscheidt, U46 Schools Coordinator. "Something we are counting on the police department to fully investigate."

After the gun was discovered students were held in their classrooms while dogs sniffed lockers, backpacks and hallways for another weapon. Nothing was found.

Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda said no charges will be filed against the boy. He wouldn't discuss the boy's motive for bringing the gun to school.

Heiderscheidt said he's confident students will be safe to come back to school on Friday. 

Singletary is still angry. 

"I'm upset," she said. "I am scared because what was the motavation of a baby to bring a gun to school."

It was unclear if Byrd has an attorney.

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