Boy prevents possible gun tragedy


3/29/2010
By GARY DEMUTH Salina Journal

The quick thinking of an 8-year-old Salina boy may have prevented a potential tragedy Sunday when he saw his younger brother pick up a loaded handgun in the grass near their apartment complex in west Salina.

The 8-year-old and his 4-year-old brother were playing outside the Airport Apartments, 2774 Berschel, at about 1:30 p.m., when the 4-year-old picked up a .38 caliber handgun lying in the grass near the apartment’s swimming pool.

The 4-year-old thought it was a toy gun and had his hand around the trigger, said the boys’ mother, Kristie Gonner.

“My older boy told him to drop it, that it was a real gun,” she said.

The 8-year-old picked up the gun and buried it in a ditch full of water, covering it with grass as best he could. Then he and his brother ran to tell their mother what happened.

“My son was too scared to carry it very far because he never had a gun in his hand before,” Gonner said. “He told me he hid it because he didn’t want any other kids to see it. There were about 15 or 20 kids playing around here.”

Gonner called the Salina Police Department, and officers retrieved the weapon from the ditch.

The gun’s serial numbers are being run, and the weapon may be sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to find its owner or determine if it has been stolen, said Officer Lane Mangels of the Salina Police Department.

So far, nobody has any idea how the gun got there, Mangels said.

Gonner said her mother was a police officer for more than 30 years and always taught her and her sons the danger of guns. Even so, Gonner said she is amazed at the level head and quick thinking of her 8-year-old.

“Either of my kids could have been dead today,” she said. “People need to be aware that stuff like this happens. I just cried my eyes out and thanked my blessings.”

nReporter Gary Demuth can be reached at 822-1405 or by e-mail at [email protected]





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kristie says….
I am his mother n trust me, he and I had a serious talk that he should have never touched the gun, but he is a very sincere kid with a heart of gold and thought it was his nature to do what he did. I just thank god it all turned out ok. As a mother, I was horrified at the situation, the outcome could have been horrific.
3/30/2010


says….
I think that kid did a good job. But why is the address printed in the paper?
3/30/2010
says….
A wonderful story. Is anyone else concerned though that an 8 year old handled the gun? imo i think we should be telling children NOT to try to hide a gun, but to not touch it and seek help from a trusted adult immediately. And when they find the scum bag that left a weapon laying outside for children to find…..well, I don’t even know what a suitable punishemnt would be.
3/30/2010
kristie says….
Thanks everyone for commending my son, who would ever think their child would be so smart!!! He did an amazing thing yesterday and quite very possibly saved his brothers life when he had picked it up!!
3/29/2010
Smart Kid! says….
IMO, that 8 year old boy is smarter than 90 percent of adults when it comes to guns! I say free passes to the waterpark for him and his 4 year old brother.
3/29/2010
says….
No kidding…how many 8 year olds would think to do that? Most would (out of sheer ignorance, due to age) start pulling the trigger thinking it is a toy. This could have been terrible! Give the kid free waterpark passes! I like that idea.
3/29/2010
says….
That kid needs more then a medal. He needs a season pass to the waterpark!
3/29/2010
A child of the 70’s says….
Kudos to the Grandma for teaching her daughter and grandkids the danger of a gun. And what a smart young man for thinking so quickly to avoid a potentially fatal accident. The young boy should get some type of citation from the SPD!
3/29/2010
Someone says….
That kid needs a medal.
3/29/2010


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