Parent produces gun at Sydney school
A day of celebration for students at a Catholic primary school turned into a nightmare yesterday when a father pulled out a loaded handgun in front of hundreds of children.
The Daily Telegraph reports that about 400 pupils of St Joseph's Primary School at Schofields, in Parramatta Diocese, were told to dive to the floor when the man pulled out the weapon during a fight with a second man, believed to be a family member.
The 35-year-old was immediately crash-tackled to the ground by off-duty police officer Senior Constable Michael Morris, whose child is a pupil.
Police Commissioner Ken Moroney had contacted the officer yesterday to congratulate him for his bravery.
As the gun was wrestled out of the man's hands, several fathers sat on him to restrain him.
The children were told to keep their bodies down. They were then ushered out of the side door of the library and put into lockdown in their classrooms.
The Kindergarten to Year 6 children had been sitting cross-legged on the library floor, with 100 parents on chairs behind them, during the 40-minute end-of-year award ceremony.
About 10.30am, a father - who had come to watch his two children - jumped out of his seat with a pistol in his hand.
The students were screaming as he was wrestled to the ground, with his own children looking on.
School principal Barbara Myors said the students, teachers and parents were in shock.
"It was a domestic dispute between two family members. We just didn't believe it was happening. Everything happened so quickly and everybody's shaken about it," Mrs Myors said.
"It was scary to see a gun being drawn in the school. The off-duty police officer and the dads who helped were superb. They are absolute heroes.
The man will appear at Blacktown Local Court today, facing charges including possession of a loaded firearm.
Gun at school (Daily Telegraph 16/12/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Joseph's Primary School, Schofields
Gun-in-school man to face court (Daily Telegraph 16/12/05)
Man produces handgun at school function (Sydney Morning Herald/Australian Associated Press 15/12/05)
After 130 years, school's out … forever (The Age 16/12/05)
16 Dec 2005