Two charged in incident involving a second grader who brought gun to GRPS school
The mother of the child, Aubrey Wilson, 32, has been charged with fourth-degree child abuse, a misdemeanor. Her fiancée Chelsea Berkley, 29, faces a felony charge for possessing a firearm as a felon.
As of May 16, Berkley was in the custody of the Kent County Correctional Facility on unrelated charges, according to a GRPD press release.
GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom said at a press conference that the investigation into the May 3 incident revealed the handgun was stolen. He said he’s confident the 7-year-old, who has not been charged, had no criminal intent when they brought the unloaded firearm to school in a backpack.
He told WGVU the department is working with the Grand Rapids Public School district in continuing to plead with parents to secure their weapons.
“Ideally, GRPS and GRPD would love to never see that gun arrive in school in the first place. So a lot of the conversation is about ‘hey what can we talk about as far as getting information out on safe storage of guns,’” Winstrom said.
Winstrom said gun locks are available for free at the departments’ downtown headquarters with no questions asked.
As for a similar May 10 incident involving a loaded gun at Stocking Elementary, Winstrom said that incident is still under investigation.
Meanwhile, the Grand Rapids Public School District passed a resolution Monday night declaring gun violence a public health crisis and encouraging safe gun storage.
The district will host a community safety forum on May 20 at GRPS University from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.