Bond set for mother after gun in child’s backpack goes off, wounding student at Disney Magnet School

Bond was set at $10,000 for a mother after a gun in her child’s backpack went off at Walt Disney Magnet School in Buena Park, wounding a 7-year-old boy Tuesday morning.

Judge Michael Hogan scolded 28-year-old Tatanina Kelly Wednesday for being "supremely negligent" after her son allegedly found the gun under her bed and brought it to school, where it went off and grazed a classmate.

"We are inches away, possibly centimeters away, from a very different case and a very different tragedy," Judge Michael Hogan told Kelly.

Prosecutors said Kelly's 8-year-old son allegedly retrieved her 9mm Glock 19 handgun from under her bed Monday night, put it in his backpack and carried it into the North Side school on Tuesday morning.

The gun accidentally discharged while in the student’s backpack in a classroom around 10 a.m., Chicago police said. The bullet struck the ground, ricocheted and grazed the abdomen of a classmate. The boy was taken to Lurie’s Children’s Hospital in good condition, officials said.

After the gun discharged, a teacher grabbed the backpack and gave it to school security officers, who found the firearm inside, prosecutors said.


Rodger Clarke, Kelly's attorney, told Judge Hogan that his client did not plan for this to happen but acknowledged "the gun probably should have been locked up somewhere." Clarke told the judge that Kelly had no criminal record and argued it was a "one-time incident, not soon to be repeated."

"This wasn’t something she planned or something she did of her own volition," Clarke said. "How the kid knew there was a gun under the bed is beyond me. … It’s not like she went out and did something purposefully that violated that law."

But Judge Hogan countered that "this may not have been an intentional act, but it is a supremely negligent act. We don’t know how [the child] knew the gun was under the bed … but he obviously did because he went and got it."

That indicates the gun was readily accessible and not stored in a way that would have prevented the boy from obtaining a loaded gun, Hogan said.

Parents of Disney Magnet School students said they were shocked that a gun was inside the school. Some said they had discussions with their children before returning Wednesday for classes.

A note was sent to families, indicating the 7-year-old was struck by debris. In court, prosecutors described the wound as a small laceration with redness.

Kelly was charged with three misdemeanor counts of causing a child to be endangered, police said. Hogan ordered Kelly to post $1,000 to be released from Cook County Jail while the case continues.

Kelly’s next court date is May 24.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.