A 6-year-old student was shot at Newton Elementary School and airlifted to a hospital in Jackson.
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Sheriff Joedy Pennington and Newton Police Chief Randy Patrick are classifying the shooting as accidental.
"A child brought a gun in a backpack (onto school property). The weapon went off right at getting out of school time, accidentally. It hit a (6-year-old) in the leg," Pennington said.
The Newton Municipal School District made the following statement:
"An elementary school student brought a firearm on campus today. From accounts, the firearm was in the student’s backpack and discharged, wounding another student. The wounded student was airlifted to Jackson for further treatment. Per district policy, a lockdown was instituted at all school campuses. The lockdown has since been lifted, and the children have been released home. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students and parents of Newton Elementary School as well as all NMSD students, their families, faculty, and staff," said Glenda Nickson, Superintendent.
Pennington said the backpack belonged to a first grader.
Patrick said he could not comment further on the investigation until the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation arrived. The Newton PD and MBI will be working the case together.
School Spokeswoman Tiwari McClain said they had an apparent school shooting involving two students. She did not know the condition of the students.
"The matter is under investigation at this time. We will release more information as it becomes available," McClain said.
According to a parent who was waiting in line, police officers and other first responders arrived on the scene around 2 p.m.
The school was placed on lockdown until after the medical transport helicopter left the scene and police made sure the scene was secure.
School officials began releasing students at 3:30 p.m., and all students were either released to their parents or were transported home via school bus by 4 p.m.
Students were released as a school official called out their name and number. Parents lined all streets around the school as they waited for law enforcement and school officials to release students.
Agencies responding to the indictent included Newton Police, Newton County Sheriff's Department, Mississippi Highway Patrol, Decatur Police Department, Newton County Special Response Team, Newton County EMA, Newton Fire Department and CareMed EMS.