Gun brought by child goes off inside Illinois day care

Published: Mar. 25, 2023 at 3:08 PM EDT
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SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (WLS) - Parents at one day care center in a Chicago suburb were told by staff that a gun went off inside the center while children were present.

The day care center is closed Friday after a 9-year-old student coming for after-school care brought a gun in his backpack. According to officials, when the student set down his backpack, the gun inside went off.

The center’s owner and director said the staff is shaken by the incident. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

A staffer quickly moved the backpack away from the children and kept them safe and calm.

A spokesperson for the village of South Holland, Illinois, reported an investigation is underway regarding an “apparent unintentional discharge of a weapon.” They did not release any further details because of the involvement of a juvenile.

WLS confirmed the child attended Greenwood Elementary and had been picked up by the Happy Days Child Care Center staff from the school.

Administrators for the school shared information with parents on Friday, saying “we are aware of an incident that occurred at a local day care involving a District 150 student.” They also reported the incident is being investigated by police.

“Please know the safety of our students and staff is top priority in District 150,” school officials said in part in the statement.

This parent of a Greenwood student who did not provide her name says she got a message from the school, but said she only learned a weapon was involved after talking with her child.

“Just really shocked that they didn’t let us know that involved a weapon because that’s really scary,” she said.

The day care is expected to reopen on Monday.

The center directors declined requests for an interview but say their prayers are with the child involved and his family.