An Escondido kindergarten student brought a pellet gun to school Thursday and threatened students and staff, police confirmed.
Oak Hill Elementary School administrators were able to pull the airsoft gun away from the 5-year-old student, Escondido Police Lt. Kevin Toth said.
The Escondido Union School District said the incident happened as class was dismissing at about 1:20 p.m.
When the boy removed the airsoft gun -- which had an orange tip that indicates it's a toy -- from the backpack, school officials say a teacher told him it was not appropriate to have at school.
District officials said students were escorted outside the classroom.
The child with the pellet gun was still inside the room with the school's principal, district officials said.
"The student did point it at the principal and said, 'This is a gun and it's used to kill people,'" Superintendent Luis Rankins Ibarra said.
A school resource officer was called but Escondido Police were not, Toth said.
Some parents picking up their children had heard about the incident on Facebook. Other parents had heard about it earlier that morning, thanks to a letter sent home to parents.
"I go to work. I leave my kids here at school, thinking they'll be safe, but sometimes they are not," said parent Marideli Vargas.
In the letter to parents, the principal said she was in the classroom when the 5-year-old pulled out the gun.
This is the same school where a suspect with a high-powered rifle strapped to his back rode his bike onto the campus as he escaped the scene of a burglary on Aug. 31.
In that incident, the superintendent said the school did not follow protocol when administrators waited at least 10 minutes to call police.
The Escondido Union School District does not have a zero tolerance policy, so what happens next?
District officials cannot discuss discipline of students, but they say each decision is made on a case-by-case basis.
Officials say the kindergarten student's parents are fully cooperating and officials are looking into how the student got the gun.
Ed. Note: Initial reports identified the item as a BB gun. We have corrected the description based on new information released by authorities.