Handgun found in Anchorage elementary student’s backpack was loaded

A loaded handgun was found in a student’s backpack Thursday at Rogers Park Elementary School in Anchorage, police said.

An official at the school off Northern Lights Boulevard in Midtown alerted a school resource officer after finding the gun around 9 a.m. Thursday — about the time the school day starts. No one was injured, according to Renee Oistad, a spokeswoman for the Anchorage Police Department.

The gun had a full magazine but no round was in the chamber, police spokeswoman Kendra Doshier said.

Rogers Park Principal Nuri Johnsen alerted families in an email Thursday that a weapon was found in a student’s backpack. Staff followed Anchorage School District protocols, including contacting the school resource officer, she wrote.

“Staff reacted quickly and at no time were students or staff in danger,” Johnsen wrote.

Police are investigating, Oistad wrote in an email.

Catherine Esary, school district spokeswoman, declined to release additional information Thursday. She referred questions to police.

According to the school district’s elementary school student handbook, “students possessing guns on school grounds will be recommended for expulsion.”

Tegan Hanlon

Tegan Hanlon was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News between 2013 and 2019. She now reports for Alaska Public Media.

Madeline McGee

Madeline McGee is a general assignment reporter for the Daily News.