Two 10-year-olds accused of exchanging gun for money on school grounds

Reporter: Olivia Jean
Published: Updated:

Two ten-year-old boys are in custody after deputies say they exchanged a gun at school.

Take a look at this picture WINK News, at the time, exclusively obtained.

These two items, a gun and a big bag of weed, were found at a 10-year-old’s home.

Police say the boy bought the gun for $300 dollars from another 10-year-old boy and that they exchanged the gun on the grounds of Country Oaks Elementary School.

The gun that was sold belonged to the boy’s deceased father. The mother of the boy is a deputy for Hendry County Sheriff’s Office and was placed on administrative leave. WINK reached out to her and hasn’t heard back.

The timeline of events

  • Over a month ago, the gun was sold on school grounds
  • Tuesday: police were tipped off. A concerned parent, who called against her child’s wishes, told the police the child may have a gun
  • Wednesday: Country Oaks Elementary School went into lockdown and police opened an investigation. Hours later, they located the gun and weed and arrested both boys.

The gun was found unloaded. 74 grams of weed was also found. Police do not know how the boy obtained the drugs.

The Sheriffs office is grateful to the parent who made the initial call. WINK News talked with Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden.

“We’re just like you. We have to get the information to be able to act on it, start investigating it. So talk to your kids,” Whidden said.

Ed and Mary Northam have a 6 year old daughter who attends Country Oaks Elementary School.

“It’s pretty scary to think 10 year olds would have a gun. I mean, they don’t really understand,” the Northams said.

WINK News talked with several parents on Thursday who were shocked to hear the news.

“My very first thought is, I was angry. Why let that around children? How do you explain to a parent, I’m sorry, you gave me your baby today to go to class and they’re dead now because a 10 year old got a gun. That’s not cool,” the Northams said.

Both boys are now in the Department of Juvenile Justice‘s hands in Fort Myers. Take a look at their charges.

Boy #1: the accused seller of the gun

  • Selling of a Firearm to a Minor
  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Minor
  • Possession of a Firearm on School Property
  • Grand Theft of a Firearm.

Boy #2: the accused buyer of the gun

  • Sale/Purchase of a Firearm by a Minor
  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Minor
  • Possession of a Firearm on School Property
  • Possession of Marijuana over 20 grams. 

The Northams said they are considering removing their daughter from Country Oaks Elementary School.

“I mean, I just think unfortunately, the time that we live in this they need to have the security and all this goes to metal detectors in a great school, but if this can happen here, it can happen anywhere,” the Northams said.

Sheriff Whidden said that there was never a threat to the schools.

The sheriffs office said they plan to speak with the kids at the elementary school about the incident early next week.

WINK News reached out to the Hendry County School District superintendent who did not respond.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.