SCS To Review Policies After Delay Reporting Shot Fired Incident

Posted on: 8:54 pm, August 22, 2013, by , updated on: 10:22pm, August 22, 2013

(Memphis) A 5-year-old brought a gun to school and it went off in the middle of the cafeteria.

New Channel 3 learned it took the district more than 40 minutes to tell Memphis Police that a shot was discharged.

“It took me all the way back to the Sandy Hook situation,” one parent said.

Parents who were terrified after hearing a gun went off at Westside Elementary rushed to pick up their kids.

“I just feel safer if he’s with her right now,” a parent said.

Shelby County Schools say the gun went off in the cafeteria Thursday morning where students were waiting to go to their first class.

“A 5-year-old boy’s backpack had a gun in it and it accidentally went off,” SCS Communications Director Emily Yellin said.

The shot rang out at 7:38 a.m.

Eleven minutes later, at 7:49, school officials called SCS security.

At 7:53, school security called Memphis Police to tell them there was a possible gun on campus.

Then at 8:20 a.m., 42 minutes after the initial incident, Memphis Police tell News Channel 3 for the first time they heard from school security that a gun actually discharged.

“I’m really speechless about the time delay .I’m frustrated,” School Board Commissioner Rev. Kenneth Whalum said.

The school district declined to comment about the time delay, but Whalum echoed parents concerns, wondering why it took so long for police to hear about the gun shot.

“Perhaps this will filter out throughout the district and have everybody sensitized to the fact that when something happens get the call made. Do it quicker,” Whalum said.

The district said it will review policies because the security and the safety of the children is its utmost concern.