PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – Police applauded the actions of two 9-year-old boys who found a handgun lodged in the snow while waiting for the school bus.
Sam Gonzales and Landry Collins were waiting for their school bus on Friday morning in their Pleasant Grove neighborhood when one of them noticed something stuck in the ice near the sidewalk.
“I kind of thought it was a phone,” said Collins.
“I thought it was a harmonica so I started chipping up the ice,” Gonzales said.
The two started to break away the ice to see what was underneath. As soon as some of the item was revealed, “I knew straight away that it was just a real gun,” Gonzales told KSTU. “It scared me."
“Everyone was getting worried and they were shouting, ‘There’s a gun over here!’” said Collins’s older brother, Brody. “I was like, ‘We should just tell somebody and leave it alone.'”
The boys decided to leave the gun alone and notify their school bus driver when she arrived. Police said she took the gun and kept it (and the children) safe until police could get there.
The handgun was dropped the night before by a man who police say used it hold a woman hostage inside of their home prompting a SWAT standoff, according to Pleasant Grove police Officer Steven Brinton. The incident led to the arrest of 38-year-old Nicholas William Haun, he said.
The boys credit their smart thinking with having a basic knowledge of guns.
“I’ve been told that you should treat every gun like it’s loaded,” Collins said.
“I don’t think we could have done any better,” Brody said.
Police were grateful the kids did not touch the weapon and instead alerted an adult.
“It’s okay to teach your kids about guns, they can be very dangerous and in this situation, it could have very well have been,” said Brinton.