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A student found a loaded gun that belonged to an off-duty Phoenix police officer inside a bathroom stall at the Chandler public library located on Hamilton High School’s campus Friday.
Chandler police Sgt. Daniel Mejia said a student saw a gun inside the restroom of the library and reported it to staff.
The Hamilton Library is a city of Chandler library that is open to the general public.
The Chandler Police Department school-resource officer secured the weapon, and soon after the owner returned to get the gun. The person was described by police as an adult who was visiting the library.
Chandler police concluded that no crime was committed. Mejia was not able to immediately provide additional details.
Phoenix police said Chandler police notified them of the incident and they are currently reviewing the situation.
“Incidents of this nature are sent to our Professional Standards Bureau, and it will be reviewed,” said Phoenix police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune.
The department’s Operations Orders document, which details police policies, said off-duty officers are allowed to carry a firearm “but will exercise discretion as to when and where it is worn.”
The Chandler library website specifies that firearms are prohibited inside the library locations, but cites law-enforcement officers as an exception. Firearms generally are prohibited on public-school property in Arizona, with some exceptions, including law-enforcement officers.
Terry Locke, a spokesman for the Chandler Unified School District, provided an email that Acting Principal Chris Farabee sent to parents and guardians. It read in part, “… a student found a loaded handgun in a holster on a handicap rail in the stall of a restroom in the Hamilton Public Library this afternoon (the library on the Hamilton campus),” wrote Farabee in the email.
Farabee reassured parents that all students and staff members were safe.
Farabee later sent out another email to parents informing them the gun belonged to the off-duty officer, who was not identified by Chandler police.
“We just learned that the community member who left and returned for his handgun in the City of Chandler library at Hamilton High was an off-duty police officer,” Farabee wrote in the email.
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