What to Know
- Authorities had reported Tuesday that a .22-caliber handgun was found in the backpack of a 9-year-old student at a Lakewood school
- Cops now say the fourth-grade student brought the gun onto a school bus and transferred it to the backpack of a 10-year-old during the ride
- Both the 10-year-old and 9-year-old students face charges in the case
The father of a 10-year-old student facing weapons charges after a loaded gun was brought into a New Jersey elementary school following a bus backpack switch says his family feels disgusted, he feels embarrassed -- and the only thing his son did wrong was not report the incident to the bus driver or school.
"My son is wrong because he should've went to the bus driver and handed in the gun or went to school and handed in the gun and he didn't," the father told News 4 in an exclusive interview. "That's the only part my son did wrong."
Authorities first reported Tuesday that a .22-caliber handgun was found in the backpack of a 9-year-old student at the Oak Street school in Lakewood. On Wednesday, they said it actually appeared that 9-year-old student had brought the gun on a school bus and transferred it to the backpack of the 10-year-old.
It was found in the older boy's backpack. That boy's father says the 9-year-old is a friend of his son, and the 9-year-old apparently got the weapon from underneath a family member's mattress. Police have not confirmed how the 9-year-old boy got the weapon in the first place.
"I know my son knows right from wrong but they're kids, they made a mistake," the father said. "They make mistakes but they're not the type who is going to go shoot up schools like the rest of these kids."
Of his son, the father added, "He said, 'Daddy, I'm sorry, you know. I got scared when the kid told me he was going to shoot the kid, that's why I took all the bullets out -- I was not playing with the gun."
The father said his son and the 9-year-old friend are being held out of school because of what happened. But he said his son should be allowed back in the classroom, and that he has always been a good and "loved" student.
The names of the two students have not been released. No injuries were reported.