Police: Boys, 9 &11, involved in AC school gunshot

May 24, 2012 2:42:03 PM PDT
Police say two boys, ages 9 and 11, were involved in the firing of a handgun inside an Atlantic City school bathroom.

"First of all, what is a child this age doing with a gun? Why?" parent Natalie Vitale asked.

That's the question some parents at Oceanside Charter School are asking after a gun was fired by a student today in one of the school bathrooms.

"I heard a pow. When I heard the teachers, they told us to run in the cafeteria. I just started running; I didn't want to get hurt," student Stephen Frederick said.

The shooting was reported around 11:50 a.m. at the school located at 1750 Bacharach Boulevard.

The student who fired the weapon first told school officials there was an explosion in the restroom.

"We later found a casing by the toilet and it was determined there was a gun in the building. I pressed a little bit harder to the young man and he acknowledged there was gun in the building and he told us where it was. We recovered it," Oceanside Charter Superintendent Jeanine Middleton said.

Parents sounded off to Action News about the incident.

"I don't know why it happened. I do know we have a lot of violence going on in our society, but we don't expect guns in our schools," parent Steve Tolper said.

"You cannot blame the school. You have to take it up with the parent. Everything starts at home," parent Nicole Green said.

The two boys, both from Pleasantville, are now being questioned by police who want to know where the gun came from and how they got it.

Everyone is breathing a sigh of relief that no students were hurt.

"Because of the type of facility this is, had the bullet penetrated - we don't know, and luckily, we didn't have that incident; the bullet stopped, it was contained, and nobody was injured," Atlantic City Police Sgt. Monica McMenamin said.

Officials tell Action News because of school policy, both boys involved in this incident will have to be expelled.