An 8-year-old girl reportedly found a gun next to a teddy bear inside a wrapped Christmas present received from a New York donation program. Needless to say, her foster mother was a little unnerved by the discovery.
Harlem resident Sheeba Anderson said she picked up several donated gifts from St. Anthony’s Church on December 20. Nothing about the packages seemed out of the ordinary, which made the gun’s appearance that much more shocking.
According to Gizmodo, someone had taken the time to scratch out the weapon’s serial number. Thankfully, the donated Christmas gift didn’t contain any ammunition for the gun.
The foster mother said the 8-year-old thought the firearm was a gun and began waving it around. Anderson explained to the New York Post:
“I heard her say, ‘Look, Miss Sheeba, I found a gun! She was waving it around and playing with it. his is something you never expect on Christmas. I feel like we narrowly avoided what could have been a terrible disaster.”
Understandably unsettled about the unexpected Christmas gift, Anderson reported the incident to authorities. New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services explained that it was “concerned” about the donated firearm.
“We are concerned when any potential risk in a foster home comes to our attention, and are working to ensure that all of the children in the home remain safe,” the agency explained to NBC New York.
Unfortunately, tracking down the culprit could be a bit problematic. Since the donations are made anonymously, authorities may have trouble finding the individual responsible for donating the weapon.
Police are currently looking into the make and model of the gun in hopes of figuring out who may have previously owned the gun.
As of this writing, St. Anthony’s Church has yet to respond to the incident.
What would you do if you found a gun inside your child’s Christmas present?