Children at a summer camp discovered a loaded shotgun underneath a portable building at the host school earlier this week. Police said the weapon is linked to gang activity.
Sgt. Eric Goldschlag with the Santa Rosa Police Department said a group of three children playing marbles were trying to collect pieces that rolled under the building where they discovered the fully loaded pistol grip shotgun that was hidden. Police were notified the following day when the children reported the weapon to a staff member with the Recreation Sensation summer camp.
Goldschlag said the weapon is likely a “community gun” left behind by a gang member for anyone to use. Last year, Santa Rosa police discovered a community gun hiding in bushes across the street from the school.
“It’s easy access for the gang members, that way if they need it they have easy access to it and if they’re confronted by law enforcement they don’t have the actual gun on them,” he said.
The shotgun is in the process of being traced by police in an effort to find its original owner. The gun was modified to hold six bullets instead of five.
A mother who wished to remain anonymous said gang activity and shootouts run rampant in the neighborhood. A teacher who works in the district said she is not surprised a gun was found on campus because it unfortunately is just a part of the culture of the area.
The mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force will be out in the area where the gun was found as part of the annual Gang Prevention Awareness Week from Aug. 2-9.
The investigation continues into which gang the gun may be linked to, but police said the children did the right thing by reporting the weapon to an adult.