LAKEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A 9-year-old boy is accused of bringing a loaded handgun to school Tuesday in New Jersey.
Surveillance video, obtained exclusively by CBS2, shows the child on board a Seman-Tov bus that was bound for the Oak Street School in Lakewood. Police said the 9-year-old, along with a 10-year-old, emptied a small satchel that appeared to have bullets.
Next, they appeared to be loading a magazine. The boys then passed the bullet holder back and forth before removing the gun from the backpack.
Finally, they loaded the weapon and slid it back inside the backpack.
“It’s absolutely alarming to us. We’re still in the process of investigating how this got into the hands of a 9-year-old,” said Lakewood Police Lt. Gregory Staffordsmith.
The student was stopped as he walked into school.
“There was no lockdown, because the student — again a 9-year-old, but nevertheless who allegedly had a gun — was apprehended. So there was no need, based on the decision of the director of security as well as Lakewood Police Department,” Michael Inzelbuch, general councel of the Lakewood Board of Education, said.
Police credited a classmate for reporting the gun.
“We give a lot of credit to the student who was brave enough to see something. We preach all the time: If you see something, say something,” said Staffordsmith.
“One of my friends said that they were trying to explode the school, and I was scared,” 11-year-old Nathan Costillo said. “The teacher that caught him with the gun said that if one of us sees or hears anything, that we need to say something about it.”
“I think the parents, they have to learn to have a gun security system or not have a gun at all,” said Rene Garcia, who has a 9-year-old daughter at the school.
It’s still unclear where the boys got the gun. Both children were charged with possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon on school grounds.
Police said the school resource officer underwent a training session on Monday for a situation like this. The school also has armed security guards who are retired police officers.
In a letter to the Lakewood Board of Education, District Superintendent Laura Winters said police told her the student stated he had been bringing the “loaded” gun to school every day to “protect” himself.
Winters recommended the purchase of metal detectors for all elementary schools as they have in their middle and high schools, according to the letter.