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El Monte boy, 9, discharges gun at school

No one was hurt in the incident at Baker Elementary. Police are preparing a complaint against the boy's grandmother, the gun owner, but it will be up to the D.A. to determine if charges will be filed.

February 11, 2009|Carol J. Williams

A 9-year-old boy took his grandmother's pistol to an El Monte elementary school Tuesday and accidentally discharged it as school was letting out in the afternoon, police said.

No one was hurt in the incident at Baker Elementary about 2 p.m., when the boy, who has not been identified, took the .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol out of his backpack and fired a shot into the asphalt of a sports court.

A complaint was being prepared against the grandmother for negligence in leaving the gun in an unlocked suitcase where the child apparently found it during a recent visit, said Det. Ralph Batres of the El Monte Police Department.

"This is a prime example of what can happen when parents don't pay attention. A kid could have been killed today," Batres said.

The boy's parents and grandmother were questioned and expressed remorse for the incident, the detective said. The boy was released to his parents.

Police filed a complaint alleging illegal discharge of a firearm and carrying a dangerous weapon onto school property but said whether any charges would be filed would be up to the district attorney.

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carol.williams@latimes.com

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