Loaded gun discovered in restroom of Elmbrook Church

BROOKFIELD (WITI) -- The Brookfield Police Department is investigating an incident where a loaded gun was found in the bathroom of a church -- all while a program for children was in progress.

A church worker discovered the gun in a stall in the women's restroom on the main floor of Elmbrook Church on Wednesday, March 26th.

According to a police report, a female employee came out of the bathroom after finding the gun, and carried it to a volunteer worker at the front desk. The report indicates the woman was not practicing good muzzle control and asked the worker if the gun was real.

A supervisor overheard the incident, seized the gun, unloaded a full ammunition magazine and removed a live round from the chamber.

Police say this all happened while there was a program going on for children in first through fifth grade. They would have had access to the bathroom the gun was found in.

The teacher of a concealed carry class says he will now be using the incident to illustrate the importance of gun safety.

"It's a huge responsibility to carry a firearm if you go through proper training. I don't understand how someone would leave a firearm if you're carrying it safely in its holster or in a purse," said Pablo Valesquez. "If it's in a public place and children will have access to any bathroom stall or whatever it may be, and they get a hold of this firearm, of course something tragic could happen. I'm glad it didn't."

The police report indicates the gun owner called the church about 30 minutes after leaving the building, realizing she had left the gun. The woman was at the church for a bible study and allegedly told authorities she carries the gun on a clip in her waistband and took it off in the bathroom stall. Police say the woman was upset and indicated she could not believe she had done this.

"If you are going to be using a bathroom in a public setting, there has to be a way you have to consider where to put this firearm to be considered safe," said Valesquez.

Elmbrook Church released the following statement: We take the safety and security of our members and guests very seriously and believe that our internal protocols were followed and served to protect those in attendance that morning. No children were in the immediate area at the time of the incident.

The report indicates the woman was able to get her gun back from police. Police say it's now up to the District Attorney to determine if any charges will be filed.