MARIETTA, Ga. -- Marietta police now say a gun found in a preschooler's backpack by school officials on Wednesday was loaded.
According to the department, they were contacted by workers at First Baptist Church in Marietta when they found the handgun in the backpack of a student of their center for early education.
School officials had already secured the gun by the time police arrived.
Marietta police spokesperson Chuck McPhilamy has since confirmed that the gun belonged to the child's parents but added they are still awaiting the findings of a Georgia Division of Family and Children's Services (DFCS) investigation to decide official charges. That investigation won't be complete for another day or two.
"Anytime that you're talking about the child's safety we're going to reach out to DFCS to do a home visit to conduct their own investigation to determine if the child is safe in the home," McPhilamy said. "So they're looking at it from a protection issue and a family unit issue. The police are looking at it from an angle of was there something criminal."
He said one of the big questions is still unanswered.
"Now, it comes into play, why was the gun in the child's bag?" he said.
McPhilamy said there were no other suspicious items in the book bag and the department previously said it didn't appear the child knew it was even there. While they know who the gun belonged to, McPhillamy said he wasn't sure whether or not it was legally obtained.
In any case, he said things could have ended very differently had school officials not stepped in.
"The fact that the school did all of the right things kept all of those children in the classroom safe," he said. "It certainly could have been a different story.