Mother Charged After 7-Year-Old Took Gun to School, Classmate Grazed


CHICAGO — The mother of a Chicago elementary school student who took a gun to school in a backpack — which “accidentally discharged in the backpack while inside a classroom” — appeared in bond court Wednesday where Cook County Judge Michael Hogan Jr. ordered her held on a $10,000 bond.

Tatanina Kelly, 28, faces three misdemeanor counts of causing a child to be endangered, said Kellie Bartoli, a Chicago police spokeswoman. Her next court appearance is set for May 24.

The charges stem from an accidental shooting Tuesday morning at Disney Magnet School in Chicago's Buena Park neighborhood. A student at the school in the 4100 block of North Marine Drive took the gun to school in a backpack.

Around 9:50 a.m. the gun, still in the backpack, went off inside a classroom, causing a bullet to hit the ground, ricochet and graze the abdomen of another student, police said. That student was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital in good condition, authorities said.

According to published reports, the student who took the gun to school was a boy in second grade and the injured student was a 7-year-old boy.

Although the police account suggests the child was grazed by a bullet, Principal Paul Riskus emailed a letter to parents saying the student was grazed by debris. It suggested the injured student was hit with flying debris from where the bullet struck rather than the bullet itself. It also explained the student suffered “minor scrapes.”

“I would like to acknowledge how incredibly challenging (Tuesday) was for all of us. As a parent, staff member or community member of the school, the news received was emotionally difficult. The safety of our students ... is the top priority,” it said. “We will work diligently to learn from this experience and will strive to rebuild the sense of safety that was jeopardized (Tuesday).”