Woman accused of leaving purse unattended with loaded gun inside at elementary school in Galena Park

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GALENA PARK, Texas – A woman has been charged after a purse with a loaded gun was left unattended at a Galena Park elementary school, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Alyssa Monique Serna, 21, was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon.

On Tuesday, Serna visited James B. Harvard Elementary School to watch a second-grade award ceremony where she allegedly left her purse in the school’s cafeteria, officials said. An administrator who was clearing out the cafeteria found her purse and turned it over to the principal, according to the school.

When the principal opened the purse and looked inside to identify the owner, a fully loaded 9mm Taurus pistol was found, officials said.

According to the school, the administrator immediately contacted the Harris County Precinct 3 resource officer who then recovered the weapon.

Serna is accused of leaving the purse unattended where any student or child could have access to the loaded firearm, documents show.

When she returned to the school to retrieve the purse, she was detained by the school resource officer and charges were filed.

She was arrested and posted a $12,500 bond. Serna’s court date was set for Thursday.

James B. Harvard Elementary School released the following statement to parents and guardians:

“On May 23, 2023, an administrator was clearing out the cafeteria after the second-grade awards ceremony and found an unaccompanied purse. The administrator looked inside the purse to see if there was any identification and found a loaded handgun.

“The administrator immediately contacted the Harris County Precinct 3 School Resource Officer, and the officer took possession of the purse and gun. After further investigation, it was determined that the purse was inadvertently left in the cafeteria by a campus visitor. The School Resource Officer detained the purse owner (when she returned to campus to retrieve the purse), contacted the district attorney, and criminal charges were accepted.

“Please know that these situations are never dismissed, as the safety of students and staff is always our first concern. As a reminder, Galena Park ISD is a gun-free zone, and violators will be prosecuted. Feel free to contact my office at 832-386-3710 if you have any questions or concerns you would like to share. Our commitment to maintaining a safe school environment is unwavering, and we accomplish this with your support.”

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