AUBURN (CBS13) — Auburn police found a gun inside a park bathroom in Auburn on Monday.
Police say the gun belongs to an off-duty police officer. The firearm was not issued by the officer’s agency.
Auburn police say a good Samaritan spotted the gun inside a bathroom stall at Recreation Park and turned it into park staff.
The police officer has since taken back his gun.
Auburn police are not identifying the officer, but say he’s from a Bay Area police agency.
“There’s just no room for error when you carry a firearm, there’s no room for error,” said Lt. Michael Garlock.
Especially for a law-enforcement officer, who is held to a higher standard, said Lt. Garlock.
Auburn police say they found a loaded gun inside a bathroom stall of the men’s restroom in the park’s main building on Monday.
Officers traced the gun back to a police officer from the Bay Area. They say he was off-duty at the time he left the gun inside the restroom.
“If that gun had been found by a citizen or a person wanting to commit a crime or even worse, a child, it’s indescribable what could have happened,” said Lt. Garlock.
He says the gun was found by a good Samaritan who turned it into park staff.
“This is why we go in and check the bathrooms ahead of time, this is the perfect example,” said Kahl Muscott, the park district administrator.
Muscott while he’s shocked an officer of the law could forget his weapon, he says park staff is trained to always inspect the bathroom before letting children go in.
“We are all relieved it was turned in immediately by the person who found it,” Muscott said.
CBS13 spoke to parents around the park who didn’t want to go on-camera but said they’re thankful the gun did not end up in the wrong hands.
They also said the officer should be disciplined for what they called an irresponsible action.
“Some things you just don’t do, the big this is nothing bad happened,” said one parent.
A loaded firearm recovered at the right time, sparing families from the unthinkable.
“This time this officer was fortunate,” concluded Lt. Garlock.
CBS 13 reached out to the good Samaritan Thursday, but he wanted to remain anonymous.
Garlock says discipline for this kind of action could result in a reprimand or could escalate to suspension, even termination by the officer l’s agency.