Should the owner of the loaded gun left behind in a Tillamook theater get it back?
TILLAMOOK - A child found a loaded gun in a Tillamook movie theater during a junior high school field trip Wednesday morning to see "The Hobbit."
Tillamook Police Chief Terry Wright said it was a small, semi-automatic weapon with a round in the chamber and the safety off.
Had the student picked up the weapon and squeezed the trigger, Wright said, "it could have been catastrophic." But no one was hurt.
The gun was found by Levi Crabtree and his friend Kolton McKinney.
"He sat down in his chair and I heard a clunk and there it was," said Levi.
Kolton was shocked.
"Who would do that?" Kolton asked. "Seriously there's a bunch of people who go to that theater and someone put a gun in there."
They didn't touch the gun, a lesson they learned in hunter safety classes. Instead they notified a chaperone. Police arrived and cleared and searched the theater.
"I knew to go get a parent because it might be real, it might be loaded," Kolton said, "And it might be a piece to a crime scene."
Early Wednesday evening, a local man came by the theater to ask if a gun had been found. He told Tillamook Police he noticed his gun was missing after he left the theater Tuesday night.
He tried to call the theater but got no answer, so he drove to the movie house in hopes the gun was in the theater's lost and found. He had a concealed handgun license for the weapon.
The Tillamook Headlight-Herald identified him as 61-year-old Gary Quakenbush. He told police he never thought to call them first about the gun.
The Tillamook County Sheriff's Office took the gun into evidence, where it will stay until the District Attorney's office reviews the situation and decides if charges will be filed.
Tillamook schools superintendent Randy Schild was relieved at the Wednesday outcome.
"Through your mind you run the scenario that your kids could have been in trouble and that's scary because here in this community they're all our kids," he said.
Kolton's mother was stunned.
"I don't understand what's gone wrong with humanity, that these things happen," said Joleen Pugh.