Sheriff apologizes for leaving gun in middle school gym locker room

SHEPHERD, Mich. -- A county sheriff is apologizing for accidentally leaving his gun in a mid-Michigan school gym locker room.

Isabella County Sheriff Michael Main said in a statement Tuesday that he takes full responsibility and is "devastated" by his negligence. He says he was at a weekend event at Shepherd Middle School and used the locker room to change from street clothes into uniform.

Main says he believed the gun - his backup weapon - was in his bag when he left. 

"In the 20 years of law enforcement service I have never left a weapon anywhere. I have no excuse for my lack of responsibility with this matter," Main wrote in the statement released to CBS affiliate WNEM. "I have worked diligently my entire career to protect people, especially our youth. However, I have failed to do just that, and I'm devastated with my lack of accountability in this matter."

The Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant reports that Shepherd Public Schools Superintendent Claire Bunker told parents that the weapon was found before classes started Monday, prompting speculation about who left the weapon.

Main says a student found the gun and immediately contacted an adult. 

In the statement, Main praised the student and apologized to the school and the community.

"I am prepared for the harsh criticism that will follow the release of this information. I understand clearly that I have a higher level of standard that must be met and quite frankly I let myself, my family and the community down," the statement said. "No matter how busy or how much is going on there is no excuse for this and I am truly sorry. This will not happen again."