TYLER, TX (KLTV) - He says he accidentally left a loaded handgun in his little girl's overnight bag. Now, a Smith County grand jury will decide what punishment an East Texas father could face. The gun was found in the four-year-old's bag Monday at St. Gregory Catholic School. Some parents are now hoping this dad is punished to full extent of the law.
"Why would a parent put a gun in their child's backpack?" asked Robin Webb, a parent.
"We don't carry loaded guns or any guns in my house," said Krystal Grandstaff, a parent. "There's no reason why there should be something like that in a child's backpack, at all."
But, a loaded handgun was carried around all day at St. Gregory Monday. The dad told the school he quote inadvertently left it in her overnight bag.
"There's no exception whatsoever for this," said Grandstaff. "There's not and why would a four year old have access to a gun first of all? I mean me, as a mom, that concerns me the parents we have nowadays."
Tyler police say that father's name and other details are protected, since it's still an open investigation. But, Officer Don Martin says by going to a grand jury, he could face a harsher punishment.
"Endangering a child which means that you're either reckless or negligent in causing possible injury to a child that's less than 15 years old or death - that's a state jail felony," said Martin. "Then there's another violation which if you read the law, it says you're prohibited from carrying a handgun onto a school premise and that's a third degree felony."
Some mothers say the father's negligence put children's lives in danger.
"Other students may have found it in her bag and you never know what could have happened. Kids kill kids everyday," said Angie Gordon.
So they hope a grand jury holds him accountable. We were told the Smith County DA was tied up in court Thursday afternoon but we will be following up with this, and we'll let you know what happens.