Missing gun closes Penn Charter School

April 11, 2008 4:18:53 PM PDT
A missing gun forced the cancellation of classes at William Penn Charter School. The school, located in Philadelphia's East Falls section, was closed as a precaution today. One thousand students and the entire faculty got the unexpected day off all because of that missing gun.

Police K-9 units scoured all 44-acres of the school grounds today, as well as every building on the campus in the search for the weapon. However, police do not believe the gun is on the premises.

The gun was stolen yesterday from a woman who parked her car at the school to pick up her daughter. She arrived on campus around 5:30 p.m., parked her car and went inside the school to get her daughter. She then returned to her car and left campus. But around 6:15, when she had left the campus, she noticed her purse and gun were missing.

The woman immediately notified police and the school, and with an abundance of caution, the school shutdown classes today.

The woman, a pediatrician working out of North Philadelphia, told police she purchased the gun yesterday at a gun shop on Allegheny Avenue. She said she bought the gun for her own protection due to some sort of domestic situation.

The school has a zero policy for weapons on school grounds.

"Even though it was a report, we made the deicision that we were not taking any chances and we wanted to have a thorough search of our campus," Darryl Ford of Penn Charter Schol said.

Police aren't sure yet if the theft was random, or if the victim was targeted.

Police are still checking out the woman's story and, to be safe, they are stepping up security in the woman's neighborhood in case this theft was in connection with the domestic abuse situation.

Students and faculty will be able to return to the school on Monday.

Visit the school's website at www.penncharter.com for further information.