PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A black and silver Smith and Wesson Sigma 9 millimeter handgun was found in the bushes of Concord Elementary School in Carrick. It was a loaded gun with 16 rounds in the magazine and one hollow-point round in the chamber. It was found inside a black purse.
“That’s too close to home,” parent Charlene Nedles said. “Anybody’s kid could’ve found it.”
KDKA-TV’s Amy Wadas talked to parents as they were waiting to pick up their kids from school Monday.
“What if one of the kids would’ve found it and just popped it off or something not even knowing. An innocent child could’ve gotten hurt or one of the teachers could’ve gotten hurt,” parent Sarah Westfall said.
“We all stay out in the front yard. They run through bushes that’s where the hide and go seek is at. Never again,” Nedles said.
Police say the incident happened on Sunday just before 2 in the afternoon.
A car accident at the intersection of Becks Run Road and Brownsville Road sent police to the scene. Three people were involved in the wreck, one of which was Lamont Benton, 20, of Mt. Oliver. A witness stopped police and said they saw Benton climb into bushes nearby and hide something.
Police searched the area and found the gun in the purse and said it was stolen from Stowe Township.
“If you really think it’s a good idea to throw a gun near a public school then I really think you might need to get yourself checked out,” sister of a student Katelyn Suhoski said.
When police searched Benton, they noticed he had several small prickly bush seeds sticking to both of his lower legs. Police say the area where the purse was found has several bushes consistent with the seeds sticking to Benton’s legs. He told police he didn’t know anything about the handgun then went on to say he didn’t have a license to carry a firearm.
Benton has a long criminal history. He’s a convicted felon and should not have been in possession of a firearm. He is in the Allegheny County Jail and faces multiple charges.
KDKA-TV’s Amy Wadas reached out to Pittsburgh Public Schools for comment, but have yet to hear back.