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Jefferson County man orders screen mesh from Amazon, receives shotgun instead

Jefferson County man orders screen mesh from Amazon, receives shotgun instead
Jefferson County man orders screen mesh from Amazon, receives shotgun instead 03:34

Don Thompson, 78, is a regular user of Amazon, sometimes ordering as many as four or five packages a day, and he says the e-commerce giant is usually pretty accurate.

"They don't get them wrong often," Thompson told CBS News Colorado.

But somehow they got one of his recent orders very wrong, sending him a new .20 gauge shotgun instead of the screen mesh he had ordered to repair a screen door.

"I was totally dumbfounded. It's terrifying, absolutely terrifying to me," said Thompson, who formerly worked in law enforcement.

CBS News Colorado retraced Thompson's steps and found he ordered a roll of fiberglass screen mesh on July 30. UPS delivered a package from Amazon to his doorstep on August 3, but it contained a Stoeger shotgun, which had been reported stolen.

He said the delivery left him rattled since he was worried a delivery mixup like that could have left the firearm in the hands of a felon or someone with bad intentions.

CBS News Colorado confirmed the tracking number given to him for his screen mesh order was the same tracking number that appeared on the box containing the shotgun. The mailing label indicated the firearm had been sent from an Amazon fulfillment center in Aurora, Illinois.

Amazon says it does not stock or sell firearms.

After CBS News Colorado began investigating, Amazon customer relations emailed Thompson:

"I'm terribly sorry to hear we've shipped you a firearm instead of the screen you purchased. This certainly isn't what we want our customers to expect, and I can assure you the firearm was shipped unintentionally. We're conducting an internal investigation of the errors leading to this shipping out from our Fulfillment Center to ensure this doesn't happen to any other customers."

Thompson contacted the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office which came to his home and took custody of the shotgun. 

"It does appear that it(shotgun) was stolen, but we've barely begun our investigation and there is apparently a lot to unravel," said Jenny Fulton with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

"We've contacted the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office to offer assistance as they investigate. Internally. We're working to ensure we do all we can to prevent something like this from happening again," said Branden Baribeau with Amazon. 

The company credited Thompson $250 and refunded the cost of the screen mesh.

"I don't want a gun, I just want my screen," said Thompson.

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