PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police say a group of second-graders at a local elementary school found the gun believed to be used in an attempted robbery and shooting on the South Side early this morning.

The shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. when some masked men tried to rob a man on Jane Street between 18th and 19th Streets. When the victim said he had no money, investigators say one of the suspects shot him in the stomach and took off.

A short time later, a group of second graders at Phillips Elementary School made an alarming discovery just about two blocks from the scene of the shooting.

“They all see this gun laying in a secured area to the right of the playground,” Pittsburgh Public Schools Police Chief Bob Fadzen told KDKA-TV.

Chief Fadzen said the gun was not loaded and the children were never in any danger. He praised them for doing the right thing. “They got their teacher,” he added, “they performed brilliantly!”

Police have one suspect in custody; but they are still looking for two more.

Marlon Spencer, 19, of Wilkinsburg, is charged with attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, conspiracy and a gun charge.

Officials believe the weapon that the youngsters found could match the clip that Spencer had when police arrested him this morning.

Investigators also recovered two masks that they believe the suspects were wearing.

As for the children, Chief Fadzen told KDKA, “We’re not going to let that neighborhood violence influence impact these kids.”

Fadzen says the district will send a letter home to parents letting them know about the incident.


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