7th grader fires gun in elementary school bathroom: Officials

Monday, May 8, 2023
Philadelphia police investigating after gun found inside elementary school bathroom
Philadelphia police investigating after gun found inside elementary school bathroom

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are investigating after a gun was found in the bathroom at an elementary school on Monday morning.

The discovery was made around 11 a.m. at the E. Washington Rhodes Elementary School located on the 2900 block of West Clearfield Street.

Police say the gun was discharged in a boy's bathroom.

The school was placed on lockdown while police investigated.

"They came out, they was in shock. They like, 'We don't know what's going on,' they was crying all hysterical," said Ebony Perry, who was picking her two kids up from the school after the lockdown was lifted.

The Chief of School Safety, Kevin Bethel, said a 7th grader fired the gun in the second-floor bathroom. No one was hit by the gunfire, and the child ran from the school after the gun went off.

Bethel said he wasn't sure if it was accidentally fired, or why the child brought the gun. He said they know who the child is and have talked to his parents.

"It's not normal for these things to happen. We can't look at this as normal," said Bethel.

Police have not said if the child has been arrested.

Parents gathered outside the school to get their kids after the building was swept by police and the lockdown lifted.

Some parents say they want to see metal detectors at the K-8 school.

"These kids are not learning. They're learning either how to be violent or they're scared to death," said Adrian Morris, whose four grandkids go to the school.

Many parents said their kids are afraid to go back to school. An intervention team will be available at the school to help kids who are scared.