By Adrienne Moore

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — A UPS package delivered to the wrong home was much more than a Christmas surprise to an Elk Grove family.

A woman says the UPS driver left a package that contained a gun with her 15-year-old son.

Austin Fairbanks says he thought the tablet he’d been asking for was finally being delivered, and panicked when he realized what was really inside.

“I was kind of scared. I was like I’m sorry mom, but I don’t want to get in any trouble, but there was a gun in there and I didn’t know what to do,” he said.

He answered the door thinking it was a Christmas box from his grandparents, but instead he unwrapped a .45-caliber revolver.

The package was addressed to the same house number, but it had the wrong street.

“I was shocked,” his mom, Shanna Fairbanks, said. “Because it’s a 15-year-old who’s got a gun now. And with everything that’s been going on; I was devastated.”

The drop-off disaster hits especially close to home for Austin’s mother, who recently lose a loved one to a gun.

“My cousin, unfortunately, accidentally shot his wife in front of the family. It was a mistake,” she said.

Another was a required safety step the Elk Grove family claims the driver didn’t follow—he didn’t ask the 15-year-old if he was 21 or check for identification.

UPS issued a statement saying, “This is a highly unusual incident and we take this very seriously. Our employee did not follow proper delivery procedures. We will address this issue with that person to ensure such errors are not repeated.”

UPS is picking up the package in the morning.

“They just need to be more careful,” Fairbanks said. “I know it’s the holidays and people are in a hurry and they have quotas to meet and stuff like that, but this could have been somebody’s life.”

Adrienne Moore