DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — A 5-year-old girl has been recognized by the Walton County Sheriff's Office after she alerted her bus driver to the the presence of a BB gun on her school bus.

Isabella Barnes, a kindergarten student at Maude Saunders Elementary, received a gold deputy star, which she wears every day and takes off every night to sleep.

"The little boy got on the bus and announced to the other students that he had a gun," said her proud mom, Samantha Barnes. "When she heard him say it, everybody else just sat there. She jumped up, ran to the bus driver and told the driver."

The child had shown other children the gun before putting it in his backpack, according to the Sheriff's Office's incident report. 

Since they were almost at the school, the bus driver asked the boy to bring his backpack to the front of the bus and called ahead to the school. An assistant principal met the bus outside and took the backpack.

The gun apparently belonged to the child's 15-year-old brother. His mother told school officials that someone was supposed to look inside the child's backpack before school but she guessed they forgot. She said her son told her he was going to bring his Legos, but saw the gun and decided to bring it instead.

The incident happened Aug. 25.

The child who brought the gun was sent home. Later that day, Isabella was recognized by a Sheriff's Office school resource officer for her actions.

Her mom and dad, Johnnie Barnes, are very proud.

"We do our best to reach her right and wrong, and I guess it paid off," Samantha said. "Most people think, 'Oh, a BB gun is not that big of a deal.' But it can hurt somebody.

"In a world full of bad, she (did) something good."