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Gun 'accidentally' discharges inside elementary school, Dallas ISD says

Dallas ISD confirmed to WFAA that a gun accidentally went off inside John W Carpenter Elementary School before classes began.

DALLAS — An investigation is underway at a Dallas ISD school after a child reportedly brought a gun to campus and it went off inside the building early Thursday morning, officials say.

Dallas ISD confirmed to WFAA that a gun accidentally went off inside John W Carpenter Elementary School before classes began.

WFAA spoke with a mother who picked up her child following the incident.

“I didn’t know what to think, what to feel… Just came over immediately,” parent Brandy Fields said. “She’s safe, so [deep breath].”

Fields said her daughter went straight to class, but another student told her daughter that a child was showing off a gun inside the school's cafeteria before it went off.

“My friend told me she almost got shot today,” Fields’ daughter, 5th-grade student Abbey said. “I was so confused. She told me someone brung [sic] a gun, and they were showing it to everybody. And while they was playing with it, it went off.”

Dallas ISD said there was no reason to believe there is any ongoing threat toward the school, but police are investigating the incident.

The probe into the gun on Carpenter Elementary’s campus happened at the same time hundreds of Dallas ISD high schoolers were gathering with law enforcement officers for a town hall discussion on youth gun violence, across town in the Pinkston High School auditorium.

“I saw my uncle get shot,” one student told the group.

The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, or NOBLE, sponsored the session. The group tackled topics including mental health, bullying, and issues driving posts on social media.

“I get you all want the attention and all of that, but sometimes the negative attention just brings more negative attention into your lives,” another student added.

The Carpenter Elementary shooting is the latest in gun incident happening in or near a Dallas school campus in recent days. Last week, a 14-year-old was shot in a park near South Oak Cliff High School. Another teen was shot near Spruce High School in Pleasant Grove two weeks ago.

Police said part of the focus must be on responsible gun ownership.

“Ultimately, our focus now has been taking a shift and focusing on public education and also focusing on accountability, even prosecution at the parental level,” explained Dr. Tarrick McGuire, Asst. Chief of Arlington Police Department.

Before the start of the school year, the district, along with several others, made updates to safety and security.

Dallas ISD now requires 6th through 12th grade students to have clear or mesh backpacks. So, that does not currently apply at Carpenter Elementary.

A spokesperson from Dallas ISD said clear backpacks will be offered to families at the Carpenter Elementary School campus, as an option, beginning next week.

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