June 19, 2018
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No charges in connection with loaded gun found in 4-year old’s bag at Hallowell day care

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

HALLOWELL, Maine — Police and the Kennebec County district attorney’s office are investigating an incident in which a 4-year old boy brought a loaded gun to a Hallowell preschool last month.

Hallowell police Chief Eric Nason said Friday morning nobody has been arrested or charged in connection with the case.

“I did talk to the district attorney [Thursday] night and we discussed the case extensively,” Nason said.

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said the Department of Health and Human Services is also assisting in the investigation.

On April 23, a day care worker found a loaded semiautomatic pistol in the child’s clothing bag and called police, Nason said. The chief added the gun’s safety was on.

“They immediately took it off premises and notified us,” Nason said. “They did everything right.”

Nason said five days before the incident, on April 18, the handgun was reported stolen by the child’s father. The child’s father lives in Skowhegan, the chief said.

“Dad reported last seeing the gun in the door pocket of his pickup truck around 11 a.m. that Thursday,” Nason said, adding the gun was reported stolen just before 10 p.m.

The child’s father, whose name was not released, had brought his son to the boy’s mother’s house in Hallowell around 5 p.m. April 18, according to Nason. A short time later, the father called police and reported his gun had been stolen.

“We’re looking at this 11 a.m to 5 p.m. window,” Nason said. “We’re not sure how the gun actually got in the bag.”

The gun had been in the child’s bag from April 18 until the day care worker found the weapon in the bag at the day care while looking for a clothing item for the boy, Nason said. The chief said it’s unclear how the gun stayed in the bag that long.

“We still need to do a little bit more work on it,” Nason said.

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