Vanderburgh County Sheriff Eric Williams was not wearing his badge, but instead sweatpants when he had no use his knowledge of law enforcement Sunday morning.
"We were walking that morning and when we left doing our cool down lap through the parking lot out of the corner of my eye I noticed something that looked out of place," said Sheriff Williams. What looked out of place was handgun in an empty area of the Eastland Mall parking lot. "I had no idea whether it was loaded or operational or what." It was a loaded Kel Tec 380 with a round in the chamber. Sheriff Williams called Evansville Police and waited by the gun until they arrived.
"We're just fortunate that a responsible adult found it and not a curious child," said Sgt. Jason Cullum of the Evansville Police Department. EPD safely took the weapon into evidence and so far it has not been linked to another crime. Just how it got on the ground in the first place is still a mystery. "A lot of these guns like the one that was found are referred to as pocket guns. People usually don't have holsters for them they just stick them in their pant pocket. If you've got a baggy cargo pocket or a baggy pant pocket or even a jacket pocket that's a possibility it will fall out," said Sgt. Cullum.
An unclaimed loaded pistol in a public place is not a light matter, however Sheriff Williams' wife found a little bit of irony in her husband's discovery. "Only you. Only you would find a gun out in the middle of a parking lot."
Sheriff Williams posted the picture of the gun on Facebook. Using this as a teaching opportunity, reminding parents to educate their children on gun safety. "Ultimately we don't want to see anybody get hurt. Guns can be very dangerous in the wrong hands and the wrong hands could be somebody that's not trained with dealing with it or a kid that picks it up not meaning to do any harm, looks at it plays with it and thinks it's the pop gun and pulls the trigger and it goes off," said Sheriff Williams.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.