SHEPHARD, Mich. (WWJ) - Authorities are investigating after the Isabella County Sheriff accidentally left his gun in a locker room bathroom at a mid-Michigan elementary school.
Shephard Police Chief Luke Sawyer says a student at Shepherd Middle School found the loaded weapon before class on Monday and reported it. As it turned out, Sheriff Michael Main had set down and forgot what he calls his "back up gun" when he used the bathroom to change into his uniform for an event.
While no one was injured, Sawyer admits that this could have ended in tragedy. "It definitely could. I mean, you have an unsecured firearm; it definitely could've," he told WWJ's Sandra McNeill.
Main has since apologized and says he is devastated by his mistake. Some upset parents have been flooding social media with complaints, it's not yet clear whether or not the sheriff will face charges.
"You know, it is what it is," Sawyer told WWJ's Sandra McNeill. "It happened, and now we are dealing with it."
"I just got done speaking to our middle school students. We have a parent assembly tonight — it was already pre-planned. We're talking about, with the issues in Florida and with the school shootings, we're talking about safety."
Sawyer added that he does not believe that the incident should play into the debate about armed guards or teachers in schools. "Honestly, I don't think those two have anything to do with each other. I think that this was an isolated incident that was a huge mistake," he said.
Sawyer said an investigation is ongoing and he will turn his findings over to the prosecutor's office when it is complete.
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