Woman accused of bringing loaded gun into church restroom appears in court

WAUKESHA COUNTY (WITI) -- 67-year-old Susan Hitchler appeared in a Waukesha County courtroom on Monday, December 8th for her initial appearance on a charge of disorderly conduct.

Hitchler is accused of bringing a loaded gun into a restroom at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield last March.

An initial charge of endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon was dropped against Hitchler this past June — but a criminal complaint filed on November 24th charges her with disorderly conduct.

The Brookfield Police Department was called in to investigate after a loaded gun was found in the Elmbrook Church’s bathroom in March 2014 — while a children’s program was in progress.

A church worker discovered the gun in a stall in the women’s restroom on the main floor of Elmbrook Church.

A criminal complaint says 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 criminal complaint says the gun was a Ruger LCP .380 semi-automatic, loaded with a full magazine containing six nosler rounds and a live round was in the chamber. There was no safety on the gun.

The complaint 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.

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.

Hitchler is due back in court on January 28th. She faces 90 days and a $1,000 fine in the case against her. She's not allowed to own or possess a firearm during the length of her court proceedings.

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