Mother Charged After Girl, 9, Fires Gun at School

TIMES STAFF WRITER

In the first local case of its kind, a Panorama City woman was charged Wednesday with allowing her 9-year-old daughter access to a gun, which the girl fired last month on her elementary school's playground.

Gloriette Littlejohn, 37, is accused of violating the state's 1991 Children's Firearm Accident Prevention Act for leaving the firearm in a drawer that Los Angeles City Atty. James K. Hahn said was "readily accessible to the youngster."

The girl took the gun to Plummer School in North Hills on May 4 and fired it in front of a 7-year-old boy.

Although the girl had removed the loaded magazine from the .40-caliber Glock semiautomatic pistol, one bullet remained in the chamber, authorities said. The gun discharged when she pulled the trigger and the bullet passed through the fabric of the boy's jacket sleeve, they said. No one was injured.

The girl dropped the pistol and ran crying from the scene, and school officials later recovered the gun, as well as the magazine loaded with 10 bullets and one spent shell casing, the city attorney's office said.

She told authorities that she had found the pistol in a drawer in her mother's bedroom and put it in her backpack as protection against gang members who had been threatening her as she walked to and from school.

Littlejohn is also charged with receiving stolen property because the gun was reported stolen in February from a Venice home, authorities said. The theft remains under investigation.

She could not be reached for comment.

At the Board of Education's June 19 meeting, Los Angeles Unified School District officials will recommend that the fourth-grader be expelled, said Bill Rivera, district spokesman.

Since the district adopted its 1993 "zero-tolerance policy" toward weapons, enabling it to expel any child who brings a gun onto a campus, 409 students have been removed from public schools for violating the rule, Rivera said.

Although exceptions have been made for BB guns and toy guns, there was only one exception for an actual firearm.

In Pacoima, a Telfair Avenue School second-grader was allowed to remain in the district, at a different school, after bringing a gun to campus and showing it to classmates. The boy was the youngest student caught with a firearm since the policy was adopted.

Littlejohn faces a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for violating the Children's Firearm Accident Prevention Act, and up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine on the stolen property count. She is scheduled for arraignment on June 15 in Van Nuys Municipal Court.

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