Utah sixth-grader brings gun to school, says parents encouraged him (VIDEO)


Screengrab of the website for West Kearn Elementary School in Utah.

A sixth-grader in Utah brought a gun to school, telling classmates his parents encouraged him to protect himself after last week's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Teachers apprehended the boy after they found an unloaded .22-caliber handgun in his backpack Monday, Salt Lake City's KSTU reported.

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He also had ammunition, although it wasn't clear whether the bullets were the right size for the handgun, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Police arrested the 11-year-old on suspicion of possessing a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault after other students told police he pointed the handgun at them on a field at West Kearns Elementary School, according to The Associated Press.

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Fellow student Isabel Rios told police the boy had pointed the gun at her and threatened to kill her.

Authorities have not released the boy's name.

He was due in juvenile court later on Tuesday. No one was injured at the school in suburban Salt Lake City.

Similar incidents were reported in other school districts nationwide Monday and Tuesday, such as the 17-year-old arrested in South Carolina after bringing a car filled with guns, knives, handcuffs and ammunition to school, WYFF reported.