HOUSTON - Three children were injured when a gun brought to a northeast Houston elementary school by a 6-year-old discharged, police said Tuesday.
Houston police said the boy took the loaded gun to Betsy Ross Elementary School, 2819 Bay St., on Tuesday.
Investigators said 25 kindergarten students were in the cafeteria for lunch when the gun fell out of the student's pocket and discharged about 10:20 a.m.
"By sitting at the cafeteria tables, they were one next to each other when it fell on the ground and it discharged. It grazed or hit some in the legs, lower parts (of the bodies)," said Sam Sarabia, a Houston Independent School District elementary education director.
HISD officials said three kindergarten students were injured by the bullet and bullet fragments.
Officials said a 6-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl were wounded in the foot and a 6-year-old boy was wounded in the leg. None of the injuries was life-threatening. All three were taken to Texas Children's Hospital for treatment. They remained hospitalized Tuesday afternoon.
"They're stable with minor injuries," said Dr. David Delemos with Texas Children's Hospital.
The student who took the gun to school was among those injured in the foot, HISD officials said.
Delemos said the children were in good spirits despite their injuries.
"They're acting normal, playing video games. They're smiling. They coped pretty well, at this time with this situation," he said.
Two of the students were expected to be released Tuesday evening.
Jarneshia Broussard, 5, was sitting near the students when the gun discharged. She said students and teachers at first thought the noise was a light bulb popping.
"I was at another table, then the gun went pow," Broussard said. "This little girl, she had -- she had got shot in the feet."
Most parents learned about the shooting by watching it unfold on television.
When they arrived at the campus, it was locked down and surrounded by police.
"They haven't told us anything -- just that the school's on lockdown and it's a gun. But I don't know what's happening," said Yolanda Smith, a student's mother.
"They told me my 5-year-old granddaughter was in that class. I don't know 'cause I can't get in that school," said Moneek Burelson.
"I want to know where my nephew is. I want to know if he's OK. Is the kid gone? Is the gun gone? That's all I want to know," said Kesha Brown, a student's aunt.
School officials allowed parents to take their children home early.
"It was like a breath of fresh air -- a load off your back," Brown said.
One of the victim's parents released a statement.
"Our son, Khoran Brown, is in stable condition. It is a sad situation that took place today, but we are all thankful our son is in good spirits. He is already asking to get back to school."
Investigators are working to determine where the child got the gun.
School officials said security at elementary schools is relatively light because there have not been problems in the past. There are no metal detectors, no police officers assigned to campuses and students are rarely searched.
HISD said it cannot discuss disciplinary matters, but the district's code of conduct states, "Students under the age of 10 who bring firearms to school shall be expelled for a term of one year, and the term of the expulsion shall be modified in order to allow for their education in an HISD DAEP (Disciplinary Alternative Education Program or alternative school) for a period of one year."
HISD has two DAEP elementary schools.
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