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9-year-old girl finds gun lying near Breckenridge Lane sidewalk in St. Matthews

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 6:22 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2021 at 6:48 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Detectives are investigating after a 9-year-old found a gun lying on a sidewalk on Breckenridge Lane in St. Matthews on Saturday morning.

Natalie Roberts, 9, her grandmother, and cousin were walking home from a Saturday morning stop at Plehn’s Bakery when Roberts said she noticed something on the ground.

“From what I remember, the gun was right here, and the magazine was right next to it,” Natalie Roberts said as she retraced her steps.

The gun, a .380 Ruger, was lying separate from the magazine, which was half-full, while a debit card lied face down next to the two.

“Whenever I think of a gun and then a credit card I think of identity theft, or something like that,” Natalie Roberts said.

The family walked home, Roberts told her mother and they called the police. St. Matthews Police Department officers were on the scene in minutes and took possession of the items.

“You can’t really have a gun in your home and not teach your kids about this kind of thing,” Heather Roberts said. “And when you enter other people’s homes, there’s always a chance that they could have an unsecured weapon. So it’s like swim lessons to me. Just because you don’t plan on going swimming, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t teach your kids to swim. It’s a safety issue. It’s a life-or-death issue.”

On Wednesday, the Roberts family returned to Breckenridge Lane to find the alleged owner. The man, who did not give his name, said he lost the gun while moving over the weekend and had been looking for it ever since.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the gun was in the hands of St Matthews Police detectives. Police Chief Barry Wilkerson told WAVE 3 News officers ran the serial number and discovered the gun was not reported stolen. Wilkerson also praised the family for contacting the police.

“That family did perfect,” Wilkerson said. “I mean, leave the gun alone, call the police, (and) let us deal with it. That’s a perfect example of what you should do.”

Heather Roberts said her daughter’s story should serve as a lesson for other families who may have guns in their homes.

“This can literally happen anywhere,” Heather Roberts said. “It’s random. It can happen anywhere, anytime, no matter how safe you think your neighborhood is.”

Wilkerson encouraged anyone who believes he or she has lost a firearm to call the St. Matthews Police Department.

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