Disgust after Antrim school gun find
Parents, teachers and politicians have told UTV of their anger and disgust over a gun left at the edge of the playground of an Antrim primary school - and picked up by a 13-year-old boy.
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
The young teen thought the weapon he found at Parkhall Primary on Saturday was a toy and took it home to his parents, who immediately called the police.
Headteacher Sandra Boyd said the thought of what could have happened was traumatic.
"You just think of what might have been, had the gun been loaded - the consequences would have been terrible," she said.
"I'm a mother and I would be very concerned to think that something would be left where it could endanger life."
Clearly a live gun or a gun of any nature being found in the hands of a child tells its own story.
Antrim Mayor Paul Michael
Mrs Boyd added that the school is already as secure as possible.
"The school grounds are covered by CCTV and we have an access and admission buzzer on all of the doors," she said.
Letters have gone out to all parents of pupils at the school, warning them to make sure their children don't pick up anything unusual.
But, amid shock and disgust over the incident, the mayor of Antrim has called for police patrols in the area to be stepped up.
"I think this child is very lucky but it has sent out shockwaves of horror across the community," the UUP's Paul Michael said.
Alliance councillor Neil Kelly also expressed his horror at what had happened.
"This is an absolutely frightening incident and must have been an extremely traumatic event for the child and their family," he said.
"It doesn't bear thinking about the type of terrible tragedy that could have come about because of the gun being in the playground."
The gun has been taken away by police for further forensic examination. Officers are asking anyone with any information to contact them.