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School official: 3rd-grader who wounded classmate in school found gun in his family's kitchen

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AUGUSTA, Georgia — A third-grader who accidentally shot a classmate at school found the weapon while exploring his family's kitchen, authorities said.

The shooting happened Tuesday at Hornsby Elementary School in Augusta. The child was playing with the gun inside a desk when it accidentally discharged, grazing a girl, authorities said. She was treated at a hospital and released, school officials said.

The boy was looking around his house for a toy and found the gun hidden in a curio stand in the kitchen, Richmond County Department of School Safety Chief Alfonzo Williams said in a statement. The child used a chair to climb onto a nearby counter to get to the weapon, Williams added.

The students' names were not released because of their ages. The boy was taken into custody, but later released to family members, The Augusta Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/1i47fV4 ). His case has been referred to the Department of Juvenile Justice, Williams said.

School officials say they're now reviewing security measures and emergency procedures.

Williams said he thought the school's staff and school resource officers acted quickly and appropriately, and that the best line of defense for schools is a "well-trained and vigilant staff."

"I believe that's one of the best ways to prevent things like this from happening," Williams said.

"Staff members should be trained to report anything suspicious," Williams added. "That's going to be a major focus in our efforts going forward."


Information from: The Augusta Chronicle , http://www.augustachronicle.com

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