Watch: 7-Year-Old With Loaded Handgun At SC School Was ‘Not By Accident,’ Investigators Say


A seven-year-old was found with a loaded handgun at Sandlapper Elementary School Thursday, according to the Richland County Sherriff’s Department, raising alarm among families.

“We were shocked to say the least,” Charles Medes, a parent, said. “Our children are in the second grade…. Especially, with what just took place in Texas, we were shocked.”

Nearly 20 kids were killed in Uvalde, Texas, authorities say, when a gunman entered the school.

At Sandlapper, no one was hurt and the gun was found in the child’s backpack when another child told administrators they’d noticed it.

Why the child brought the gun is still unclear.

“There was no threats made to anyone with a gun,” Sheriff Leon Lott said. “We don’t believe it was by accident by any means, but as far as actually realizing what that seven-year-old was doing, I don’t think a seven-year-old has that mindset to really comprehend everything that was going on.”

Sandlapper is one of several Midlands schools to have a student bring a weapon to campus in recent weeks.

Less than a week ago, a teen was arrested, accused of bringing a loaded gun to Lower Richland High School.

A similar story earlier this month when an armed teen was arrested at St. Andrews Middle School.

No one was hurt in either case.

“Rarely do we have something bad happen at a school,” Sheriff Lott said. “I urge parents just to talk to their children. It doesn’t matter how young they are. Talk to them about gun violence and guns.”

Medes said he’d like to see more done, though he was unclear what the best course of action would be.

“I would like to see more (School Resource Officers)… metal detectors,” Medes said. “I don’t know what’s going on in the world, but that has to stop.”

News19 reached out to Richland School District Two for comment.

A spokesperson shared a statement sent to families which said they’re dedicated to keeping the campus safe and encourage parents to check their child’s bookbags before school.