A 16-year-old boy and his mother found a loaded gun while walking through a parking lot in Windward Oahu.
It happened between 4 and 5 p.m. Wednesday at Kaneohe Shopping Center.
They had just gotten out of their car when they saw the handgun in a grassy area. They immediately called the police.
We wanted to know how this happened, and if anything’s being done to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The mother and her son asked us not to identify them, but they wanted to get the story out. They say they hope something good comes out of this, because it could have had a tragic ending.
“It was a little surreal. I just didn’t get it,” said the mother. “I couldn’t comprehend it, because it looked so real and it did turn out to be real. That, I kind of just shook my head a little bit.”
They knew better than to pick it up, and instead, the 16-year-old boy put his jacket over it and stayed nearby after calling the police.
“You can see from a distance, it was definitely a gun, but as soon as you got closer, this thing was the real deal,” he said. “It’s got metal plating on it. It’s got the chambers and everything. It was crazy.”
According to sources, the gun was identified as a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson.
As surprised as they were that it was a real gun, the mother and son were even more shocked when they saw the responding police officer unload six bullets from the cylinder.
“That was the craziest part when he started unloading it,” said the son. “I was like, oh man, what if someone’s kid got a hold of this? That would be crazy, because you know how kids are with toys.”
“I’m just glad that we were there, that no child picked it up, no person that might have a mental disability picked it up. In the world we live in, we just don’t know,” said the mom.
Sources tell us that the gun was registered to an armored vehicle company, and the gun had not been reported lost or stolen.
When we asked the Honolulu Police Department about it, a spokeswoman told us that the type of firearm and its ownership are part of the ongoing investigation.
The family that found the gun tells us there were a lot of people walking around the parking lot, including little children.
Shoppers and area workers we spoke to say they’re shocked, and wonder why the owner of the gun would not report it missing.
“I think it was irresponsible,” one worker said, “because they should at least make a report. Let the mall security know. Let management know, so they can address the issue.”
An armored car company who is not involved with this incident told us when a weapon goes missing, company policy requires it be reported immediately.
Armed guards are certified by HPD. We’re checking to see exactly what the rules are.