Chicago mother charged after gun in her son’s backpack went off at school and injured a seven-year-old | US News
A 28-year-old mother has been charged with child endangerment after a gun in her son’s backpack accidentally went off at school and injured a seven-year-old.
Tatanina Kelly appeared in court on three misdemeanour child endangerment counts and was released from Cook County Jail on $1,000 (£800) bail.
Prosecutors alleged Kelly’s eight-year-old son found the gun underneath her bed and took it to Walt Disney Magnet School in Chicago.
The mother has a valid firearm owners identification card.
Police said the backpack was in the boy’s classroom when the gun discharged just before 10am on Tuesday.
The bullet bounced off the floor and grazed the stomach of a seven-year-old pupil.
According to the police, the child was taken to hospital in good condition.
The school’s head emailed parents saying the bullet “caused some debris to ricochet in your child’s classroom, which hit a member of our school community and caused minor scrapes”.
A Glock 19 handgun was discovered inside the backpack.
The mother’s lawyer, Rodger Clarke, said: “This wasn’t something she planned or something she did on her own volition.”
He said: “How the kid knew there was a gun under the bed is beyond me. … It’s not like she went out and did something purposefully that violated that law.”
Cook County Judge Michael Hogan said he understood the accident was not intentional, but he described it as “supremely negligent”.
The judge voiced concerns at how accessible the gun was to the young boy.
Judge Hogan said: “We are inches away, possibly centimetres away, from a very different case and a very different tragedy.”