A little girl celebrating her birthday Tuesday went through a terrifying ordeal after a gun went off in her classroom, grazing a classmate’s stomach.
According to Chicago police, the incident happened at Disney Magnet School in the Uptown neighborhood on Tuesday morning.
A student had brought a gun to school in a backpack, according to police, and the weapon accidentally went off. The bullet struck the ground and ricocheted, with a fragment grazing a student’s abdomen.
Police say the student was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital in good condition.
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Kay Perkins, who celebrated her eighth birthday on Tuesday, was sitting near the classmate when the gun went off, her parents said.
“I’m a father, so you can only imagine what’s going through my mind,” her dad Derek said.
“Panic, pure panic,” her mother added.
Perkins’ mother says that her daughter shared the harrowing story when they reunited with her after the incident.
“She said there was an explosion, and that a young man had gotten glass in his stomach,” she said. “My daughter says he was in the row behind hers, so it was in very close proximity.”
The Perkins’ say that their daughter and her classmates were evacuated after the incident, and were told that their classmate had gone to the hospital, and that he was okay.
“They (then) resumed their day,” the girl’s mother told NBC 5.
Kay’s family is grateful that she’s okay, but they surely have the same question that countless other parents have.
“Why was there a gun in the (student’s) bag,” Kay’s mother said.
“Was he bringing in to show off? Did someone in his family hide it there,” Derek Perkins added.
The Perkins’ shared a letter that was sent out to families after the incident.
“The students in Room 222 are aware of what happened, and we have been checking in with them throughout the day to make sure they feel safe and calm,” the principal said, in part. “If your child voices any fears or worries, or you notice a change in their behavior, please let us know and we can provide them with extra support.”
Derek Perkins says that his daughter will be back in school tomorrow, but says that he’s going to have a “new sense of worry” when she heads to the classroom.
“These are conversations I thought I’d have with her at maybe 14, 15, or in high school,” he said. “But (instead) it’s in second grade? On your birthday?”
According to authorities, the mother whose child brought the gun to school is now facing several misdemeanor charges in connection to the case.