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Man Charged After Boy Brings Loaded Gun To Elgin School

ELGIN, Ill. (STMW) -- A 7-year-old boy brought a loaded handgun to a northwest suburban elementary school Thursday morning, and the man who allegedly brought the gun to the boy's home is being held on a $250,000 bond.

Another student spotted the gun inside a backpack and notified school staff, who seized the backpack and called police.

Rashaad L. Byrd, 27, of the 200 block of Highpoint in Romeoville brought the 9 mm handgun with him while he was staying in an apartment in Elgin with the boy and his relatives, Elgin police said.

Byrd has been charged with possession of a weapon by a felon, not having an FOID card and misdemeanor child endangerment, police said.

In court Friday morning, Byrd was ordered held on a $250,000 bond, according to the Kane County State's Attorney's office. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 20.

Byrd told Kane County Judge Christine Downs he has been dividing his time between a home in Romeoville and the Elgin apartment, where he stays with his mother and the mother of his children.

Elgin police said Byrd claimed he found the gun and brought it to the Elgin apartment on Monday. He left it unsecured and loaded in a dresser drawer, where the 7-year-old found it.

The boy found the weapon and brought it to school Thursday morning.

Police said they were called to the 510-student Gifford Elementary School at 240 S. Clifton Ave. in Elgin shortly after 10 a.m. by a staff member who said the backpack with a possible gun inside was secured in the office.

"A search of the recovered backpack revealed a loaded 9 mm handgun," a statement from police said. The boy who brought it to school "was immediately brought to the school office to speak with staff and police officers."

Police set up a perimeter around the school and used a K-9 unit to search for any other weapons, but none were found.

School District U46 is still determining if any action, including suspension or expulsion, may be needed, he said. However, because of his age, it is unlikely the boy would be charged with a crime.

Prosecutors said Byrd has 42 previous arrests in Illinois, and five convictions, including drug possession and aggravated battery to a police officer in 2005. The latter led to a three-year prison sentence, of which he served 18 months.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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