Elementary school student brings gun to Lee School; police patrols stepped up

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Springfield police are increasing patrols of District 186 schools after Tuesday's mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and an incident at Edwin Lee School in which a student brought a handgun into the building.

Police were called to Lee School, 1201 Bunn St. at 10:20 a.m. Tuesday in response to the incident involving an elementary-aged male student.

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District 186 said in a statement that the handgun was found in the student's book bag.

The student's teacher was able to alert school administration and staff managed to secure the firearm without incident.

The district’s security team was immediately deployed to the school.

The statement indicated the student brought the handgun from home. The handgun is now in possession of the Springfield police.

Parents and staff were informed about the incident and classes remained in session.

Lee School has about 270 students, including classes for regular education students in kindergarten through fifth grade and special education services for students ages 5 to 22 with instruction focusing on functional academics with emphasis on life skills development.

It houses three Early Childhood Special Education classes. The three classes have 60 students ranging in age from 3 to 6 years old.

Police said the handgun was not displayed at any time and that the incident is currently under investigation.

The patrols will last until the end of the school year, SPD Commander Sara Pickford said in a statement.

The department said it would encourage officers to be in the vicinity of local schools in their spare time, depending on call volume, to provide extra assistance to staff and other officers working in the schools.

In addition, the department said it is seeking to provide more comfort for parents who may be fearful due to the recent shooting in Texas, which left 19 children and two teachers dead.

The investigation into the case is continuing

Contact Zach Roth: (217) 899-4338; ZDRoth@gannett.com; @ZacharyRoth13

This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: Springfield police increase patrols at schools after Texas shooting