Authorities on Long Island are investigating after a 10-year-old student was allegedly caught with a loaded handgun at his elementary school on Monday.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said the boy, a 4th grader at Meadow Elementary School in Baldwin, N.Y., was showing another student the contents of a bag in the cafeteria when the lunch monitor noticed it looked unusually heavy, WABC reports.
The sharp-eyed school employee approached the students to inspect the lunch sack and reportedly discovered a weapon inside.
The monitor took the boy to the principal, who called the police. Authorities later revealed that the weapon was a .40-caliber handgun that had one round in the chamber and several in the magazine.
"It's my biggest fear," the parent of another student at the school told WABC. "I fear it every day, and now that I hear it, I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep tonight, honestly. You know, it's just a nightmare. It's something that you hear it happens at other schools. Now that you hear it happened at your child's school, it's terrifying."
The boy, whose identity has not been released, was brought to the First Precinct, where he was questioned and processed with his father present, Newsday reports. He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds on Tuesday and is due to appear in Family Court on April 5.
The lunch monitor who first noticed the situation is being praised by officials for their "outstanding" response to the incident.
"This is a wonderful school staffer who was aware and clearly looking out for her kids and did exactly the right things," said County Executive Laura Curran during a news conference.