Mom charged after 6-year-old son brings gun to Norristown school: DA

The D.A.'s office said the child was showing off the gun and bullets on the school bus.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Mom charged after 6-year-old son brings gun to Norristown school: DA
The D.A.'s office said the child was showing off the gun and bullets on the bus, and other children immediately reported it to the school secretary.

NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A woman from Norristown, Pa. has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child after her 6-year-old son brought a handgun to school, the Montgomery County District Attorney's office said.

Jasmin Devlin, 30, was also charged with reckless endangerment after authorities say she failed to secure the gun in her home.

Jasmin Devlin

According to investigators, Norristown police were called to Joseph K. Gotwals Elementary School on Feb. 9 for a report of a child with a gun.

Police say several children got off a school bus that morning and told the school secretary that the 6-year-old had been showing off a real gun and bullets on the bus.

The secretary brought the boy into the office, looked in his backpack and saw the gun. The school's principal then called police.

Police say their investigation revealed that the child found Devlin's loaded gun in a dresser in her bedroom on the evening of Feb. 8.

The boy's 10-year-old brother allegedly took the bullets out of the gun and then pointed the gun at his brother, pretending to shoot him.

The 6-year-old told detectives that he went back to the bedroom in the middle of the night, put the gun in his backpack, and then took the gun to school, police say.

According to the D.A.'s office, detectives found that the gun was a straw-purchased firearm. A straw purchase is defined by the ATF as the illegal purchase of a firearm by one person for another.

The gun was bought in March, police say. The man who allegedly made the original purchase, 33-year-old Joseph Rudnitskas of Norristown, was arrested in April on multiple felony charges related to the illegal purchase and sale of four guns.

One of those guns turned out to be the weapon involved in this case, the district attorney's office said. The other three guns remain unaccounted for.

"This incident is a frightening reminder of the fact that children can and do find unsecured firearms in a home, and they play with them. Thankfully, these young boys were not shot or injured in their home, and no one was shot or injured at school thanks to the quick action by school personnel," said District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a statement.

Norristown Acting Police Chief Michael Bishop Chief Bishop said the children who reported the gun are the "true heroes in this unfortunate incident."

"We had a group of amazing young heroes on the school bus, who immediately recognized this was a weapon, immediately recognized that no kid should have this weapon, and immediately recognized that it should not come into the school," said Det. Stephen Sowell of the Norristown Police Dept.

The school district issued a statement that read:

"We commend the students who immediately notified school personnel upon arrival so that swift action could be taken."

Devlin turned herself in to police on Tuesday. Bail was set at $50,000 unsecured. She is not allowed to have contact with children as part of her bail conditions.

Action News went to Devlin's home on Wednesday, but she didn't want to talk about what happened.