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Mother of 6-year-old Virginia student charged after child brings handgun to school, police say

<i>Billy Schuerman/The Virginian-Pilot/AP</i><br/>Little Creek Elementary School is seen in Norfolk
AP
Billy Schuerman/The Virginian-Pilot/AP
Little Creek Elementary School is seen in Norfolk

By Zenebou Sylla, CNN

Police in Norfolk, Virginia, have charged the mother of a 6-year-old after the child brought a handgun to school, police said in a statement. This is at least the fourth incident of a 6-year-old bringing a gun to school this year, according to CNN’s reporting.

Police said around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, officers responded to Little Creek Elementary School following a report of a student having a weapon. When officers arrived, police said a handgun was turned over by school staff. No one was injured, police said.

The child’s mother, Letty M. Lopez, of Norfolk, has been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and allowing access to a loaded firearm by children, police said. Lopez was released on a criminal summons. CNN has attempted to contact Lopez for comment.

Norfolk Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Washington told CNN that police arrived at the school after students had been dismissed for the day and other children had been sent home. “School administration immediately enacted safety and security protocols including calling Norfolk Police,” Washington said. “School administration also immediately contacted division leadership and the Communications office.”

Washington added the division has invested in school security in recent years, including installing video doorbell cameras at every school, enforcing ID checks for visitors, and requiring all who enter school buildings to undergo a background check through its visitor management system.

The school board is considering a budget proposal that includes the purchase of weapons detection systems for all schools in the division, upgrading school security cameras, hiring 18 additional security officers, and creating additional security supervisory positions, Washington said.

On Wednesday, a 58-year-old man was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor after an unloaded gun was found inside a 6-year-old’s backpack at a North Carolina school the day before, according to police. Also this week, a Philadelphia area woman was arrested after authorities said her 6-year-old son was caught with a gun on school property. In January, a Virginia teacher was shot and injured by her 6-year-old student.

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