It was just a regular mall-bonding for mother-and-child, checking out stuff and trying on things when the precocious 8-year-old child discovered a gun inside one of the stores that could have potentially put their lives at risk.
The mother and son were inside an Adidas store dressing room on Wednesday afternoon when the child found what he easily thought was a toy gun under the bench. The mother wanted to determine if the gun’s for real so she pulled the trigger.
According to the Atlanta Police Report, the incident happened at 5:42 p.m. A single shot was fired from the .22 caliber gun. No one was injured from the gunshot. Police also said, “there was minimal damage to the wall” from the gunshot. The authorities have made no arrests for the incident, but the investigation will continue. The officers have taken the gun as the piece of evidence.
The mall issued a statement regarding the incident. It said:”Lenox Square management and the store involved are working closely with the Atlanta Police Department to share any information that may be helpful. Lenox Square is committed to providing a safe, quality shopping environment for our guests and employees. We are thankful that there were no injuries as a result of this isolated case.”
Both the police and mall management have yet to issue a report and clarifications as to who owns the gun that was discovered by the boy under a bench in the dressing room. It is crucial to know whether the gun was merely forgotten and left by a previous customer trying on something in the store’s dressing room, or if a store will be liable if the gun happens to belong to one of its personnel.
A manager at Chuck’s Firearms in Buckhead Jim Hinsdale said it is highly likely for anyone inexperienced with guns easily spot the difference between a real one and a toy gun. He said: “I’ve seen the toy versions. You can go into many toy stores and even some of the Air Soft guns stores. The guns are- they’re hard to tell the difference with the exception of maybe the fluorescent orange tip on the barrel.”
Hinsdale said it is safer to always assume that guns are loaded all the time and advises strongly against pulling the trigger to determine if the gun’s real.