Loaded handgun found in baby bag at Peabody daycare

PEABODY, MASS. (WHDH) - Police are investigating after a man left a fully loaded handgun in a baby bag at a Peabody daycare on Friday, officials said.

Officers responding to Little Sprouts Daycare on First Avenue at 10 a.m. were told by employees that a gun had been left in a child’s baby bag during drop-off, police said. When officers opened the bag, they allegedly found a fully loaded Smith & Wesson .380 handgun, according to police.

Russell Molliver lives in Peabody and said, “To find something like that is totally disrespectful.”

Sarah Schroeder, CEO of Little Sprouts, said all families with children enrolled at the school were notified as soon as possible and the family was withdrawn from Little Sprouts.

“I am proud of our team’s prompt and responsive actions to protect the children in our school and we are grateful that all are safe,” Schroeder said in a statement. “We continue to feel fully supported by local authorities and are deeply appreciative of their partnership in prioritizing our school’s security.”

The gun allegedly belonged to the father of the child, who was licensed to carry it by a neighboring town, police said. Lewis Diaz, a parent outside of the daycare Saturday said gun owners need to take better care when children are involved.

“I’m a father, my kid is 15 years old, one of the first things you have to do is if you have a gun, you have to keep it away from your kids,” Diaz said. “We need more education, we need more registration about who’s gonna have a gun.”

Police are still investigating and the state Department of Children and Families was notified.

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